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Complainant Name:
Mr Rob Greenwood

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Daily Mail

Complaint:

Mr Rob Greenwood complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the article incorrectly stated that the 1.4% of the population was disabled, and that there was an over provision of disabled parking bays.

Resolution:

The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following letter in the newspaper:

The idea that there are scores of underused disabled bays in supermarket car parks (Mail) is a myth.

I've lost count of the number of shopping trips I've had to abandon because no disabled parking spaces were free. It's rare indeed to find empty spaces during shopping hours.

The problem with the Blue Badge scheme is the level of abuse by non-disabled people using bays without badges, or using badges to which they're not entitled. This abuse is the subject of a massive Bay Watch campaign organised by disabled people to have the scheme properly enforced. The suggestion that there is an over-provision of disabled bays may have a negative impact.

It's ludicrous to suggest that the percentage of ‘registered disabled' people is as a low 1.4 per cent.

The registration system for disabled people ended 15 years ago and related only to employment quotas, set at 3 per cent.

Then, as now, it had no bearing on the proportion of disabled people in the population.

According to the Disability Rights Commission, there are actually 8.6 million disabled people in the UK - 14 per cent of the population. The provision of 6 per cent of supermarket parking should be seen in this context.

I'm concerned that the suggestion that there is an over provision of disabled bays for a small proportion of the nation's population may encourage non-disabled drivers to abuse these parking spaces and prompt businesses to disregard their obligation to provide services to disabled people.

ROB GREENWOOD,
Huddersfield

Date Published: 03/06/2010



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