Worthing charity’s anger over disabled parking bay

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A CHARITY has implored the county council to make it illegal to park in a disabled bay outside its premises, claiming it endangers the lives of vulnerable people.

Worthing and district SCOPE, a charity for people with cerebral palsy, currently has a disabled badge outside its premises in Pavilion Road which is used by its bus as a drop-off point for service users and their carers.

But because the badge is not legally-enforcable, drivers are parking in the space and are forcing service users and their carers to park down the road, often causing them to cross the partially-obscured junction between Pavilion Road and Woodside Road.

Pauline Fox, chief executive of Worthing and district SCOPE, said she had pleaded with West Sussex County Council for more than three years to make it illegal to park in the bay, but was told it was “low priority”.

She said: “The people who come to our centre are disabled people, which makes them more vulnerable, and vulnerable people need to be kept safe.

“The council has mentioned risk assessments, but there’s no help doing a risk assessment if someone’s killed in the road. I don’t want to tell someone their son or daughter has been killed.”

She added: “You wouldn’t expect someone to park outside accident and emergency because it’s critical use. We might not be critical use but I think we should be high priority.”

A West Sussex County Council spokesman said: “If a disabled parking bay is not correctly signed, lined and backed by a valid Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) then it cannot be enforced.

“However, we are currently undertaking a parking review in Worthing and we may be able to add this parking bay as part of that review in spring 2012, providing it meets the necessary criteria.”