Blue Badge parking is a fantastic invention, and makes life so much easier for people, but there are often places where there simply aren’t enough spaces for everyone.
In my town – it’s at the local hospital. Parking has been an issue there for years, with the hospital regularly moving external departments to the same main site – but never increasing the parking. The worst place for this is at the wing that contains physiotherapy, the various gyms, hydrotherapy, prosthetics, etc. I always arrive early to my appointments – and it’s luck of the draw that you either catch someone leaving, or have a long wait. The way the car park is laid out there isn’t an easy way to queue up, so people dot about and just have to keep an eye on who is next in line.
So today I had hydrotherapy and arrived about 20 minutes early. I waited, and waited. After about 15 minutes, a lady crossed the car park heading to her car. I pulled out, signalling to make it clear I was waiting – when a new car arrived, and rushed in, passing me. I couldn’t have pulled out further as it would have blocked the lady from leaving. I head towards the space, as he starts to back in. I beep, and wave to get his attention. He ignores me, and parks.
When he gets out – I ask him why he did that. He shrugs, and said he didn’t see me. If someone doesn’t see a car in the middle of a carpark, signalling and beeping – they shouldn’t be driving.
So I wait, and wait – my appointment time passes. There’s nothing I can do, no where else to park. Eventually another lady moves her car, and once again a massive four-by-four suddenly drives in and takes the spot. I’m furious.
Again, I ask her why? I’d been waiting half an hour, missed my appointment time – and there is a queue. She says her daughter has an appointment. Right, well no one goes to the hospital for fun? I explain I do too, and I’ve been waiting like everyone else. She then looks at me and says “It’s your problem.”
I can’t repeat what I said next.
When did common decency vanish? Everyone knows parking is difficult at this hospital, and most of the time everyone does their best to keep the system fair. It sounds like such a minor thing, but in the end I had to park on a verge, then struggle desperately to get my wheelchair out and down the kerb. My stress levels were high by the time I got to my appointment, fifteen minutes late – which then increases my pain. It just makes me not want to go the hospital anymore, as the parking situation is so ridiculous!