Gransnet forums


Disability Badges

(45 Posts)
LizG Wed 12-Jun-13 09:27:31

I saw this item got a mention under 'stray dogs' and it made me wonder if I could ask for your thoughts on a matter?

Following my hip replacement which has gone slightly awry I am having troubles with walking uphill, getting in and out of a car and numerous other bits and pieces which are not relevant. We bought a Nissan Note car for me which is just perfect. Unfortunately when I visit a supermarket I cannot enter or exit my car easily because there is insufficient space between parking bays. I have regularly been trapped outside my car because someone has parked too close to me meaning I cannot manoeuvre my poor old legs back in and I have had to call my daughter from work in order to rescue me. If I park in a one remaining space to find I cannot open the car door to swing my legs out then I have to leave the supermarket. It is also very frustrating to see a number of unused disabled spaces.

Although I am not officially regarded as disabled both my doctor and my consultant were in support of my request to apply for a Disability 'Parking' Badge. My consultant even wrote accordingly. North Somerset Council refused the request on the grounds that I can walk over 200 yds. Hands up I can walk on the flat 1 mile and this I do daily with my dog. But, getting to town would mean a walk there and back of well over 1 mile and I could not bring the shopping back. I can't even sit in the bus if there were any because being 5'10" with a dicky hip means My legs won't fold up in busses. So I am left with either taxis which I can't afford or waiting until I can cadge a lift with my daughters. They then have to drive my car because I can't get into theirs.

I do not need this facility to park on the road or anywhere which might make it difficult for others in real need but that extra 'door opening' space would make it possible for me to act normally. I offered to return my bus pass in exchange for the badge because I can't use it. This damned hip has ruined my life as I knew it and I can't get help from any source.

Sorry to ramble on but I should appreciate your comments. I am not one to be unreasonable or knowingly to break the rules.

petallus Wed 12-Jun-13 09:33:47

You could just park in a disability space on the grounds that it is morally justified.

whenim64 Wed 12-Jun-13 09:40:50

In supermarket car parks, I would use those spaces regardless if you are in this position, Liz. I'm not aware of those car parks being patrolled unless there is a fee for parking. I guess it's different on the street or in the car parks with payment meters. Anyone who tried to challenge you would understand.

LizG Wed 12-Jun-13 09:44:27

I have thought of approaching the supermarkets about this petallus but couldn't just do it to make a point because I am ridiculously law abiding smile

kittylester Wed 12-Jun-13 09:46:26

Could you speak to the supermarkets concerned and ask if they have their own arrangements? When my husband broke his hip we just asked as we went in to stores and gave them the registration number. Ikea gave us a sticker to put on the windscreen!

whenim64 Wed 12-Jun-13 09:48:14

Just found ths Liz. The blue badge sceme does not apply in supermarket car parks

petallus Wed 12-Jun-13 09:48:20

It's not against the law but I'd feel the same. Actually I have a similar problem as you but not as bad. Good idea to speak to supermarket.

If you feel like making waves, write to your MP about problem getting disability badge.

LizG Wed 12-Jun-13 09:52:48

Morrisons Car Park is patrolled by a little man nicknamed Hitler (even got the moustache). Perhaps I could make up a little message of my own in Tescos though - 'Hip sufferer needs extra space to swing her legs'. I am afraid I get cross with people who park in those spaces unreasonably so I can't blame others. But I tell you this I wish I had lied on my application form. Even my doctor said I should have done, she was horrified.

LizG Wed 12-Jun-13 09:54:27

Thank you all. Today I am going to contact the supermarkets smile

LizG Wed 12-Jun-13 09:59:36

Very useful Whenim, thanks, now I have a better understanding of the refusal and a plan to deal with it.

gma Wed 12-Jun-13 10:09:28

Can any gransnetter tell me why.......if you park in a disabled parking space without a blue badge (at a supermarket beginning with S) you will get a ticket from the 'jobs worth' on patrol? BUT if you park in a mother and baby space without a baby nothing is said? We see lots of elderly people parking in M&B spaces at our local 'S........s' simply because the spaces are wider and easier to get out of the car! How easy is it to get a blue badge? Do you have to have a medical or does your doctor sign a letter for you??I've never had a need for one! Thank goodness .

HUNTERF Wed 12-Jun-13 10:27:15

Hi gma

Normally the signs says something like parent and child space.
I got some abuse some years ago from a mother when it said mother and child space.
I was getting my daughters out of the car at the time and my wife was not with me.
I also got some abuse a few months ago when using a parent and child space.
I was picking my daughter and granddaughters up from the supermarket.
They were not in the car when I drove in to the space but they were when I drove out.


Charleygirl Wed 12-Jun-13 10:33:11

I have a blue badge but getting it was like going through hoops. The paperwork alone was daunting. I then had to go for an interview and the last time it was an Occupational Therapist who assessed me. I also cannot get in and out of my car without being able to open the door fully and sometimes when I park and the disabled bays are full, on occasions I have gone home as I would not have been able to get out of my car. My local supermarkets are tightening up and ticketing those who park in bays without a badge. Ask the supermarket (s) for help as they want your custom.

Nelliemoser Wed 12-Jun-13 10:35:19

Does the car park belong to the supermarket or the council? That is probably where the difference occurs. Where I usually do my supermarket shopping the car park is council run, despite being referred to as the Asda car park.
It has to be supervised and charged parking or all the towns commuters would use it and shoppers would not get a look in.

LizG Wed 12-Jun-13 11:11:50

My only need is for a badge in a supermarket car park and I have yet to approach the supermarket direct. According to my local council in order to get a 'discretionary' badge rather than 'automatic' :

'in order for a person to meet this criteria, the applicant's inability to walk must be permanent and not just intermittent or temporary, and they must only be able to walk with excessive labour and at an extremely slow pace or with excessive pain. The applicant must be unable or virtually unable to walk at all times and would be incapable of visiting shops, public buildings and other places unless allowed to park close to their destination.'

I do feel that making an application should be difficult so that those who are as above receive every help possible and that they deserve, although I would ask why they are not in the 'automatic' criteria? Does 'discretionary' exist?

Perhaps the planning authority should insist that all car park bays should be wide enough for the occupant to fully open a car door. - 'simples'

GillieB Wed 12-Jun-13 13:27:05

LizG - I have read about your problem and the other posts with interest. Evidently whilst disabled car parking spaces are enshrined in law, Parent and Child ones are only "courtesy" ones which the supermarkets do to encourage mums to shop there. There are some wonderful Parent and Child threads on Mumsnet which make interesting reading.

I do have a blue badge - I applied for it a year after I had my left knee replaced. I do think that how easily the Councils let you have them is a bit of a postcode lottery, as I found it very easy. I had a word with my GP about my inability to walk and about the fact that I needed to be able to open the car door fully in order to get out, filled in the form and sent it off to the Council. The badge arrived shortly afterwards. I do not use it to park on the road where there are double yellow lines, just when I go to a supermarket, or similar. Like you I have also been stuck when I have used an ordinary space and then come back to find that the next car had parked so closely, I couldn't get into my car.

When I was on crutches after my operation (and before I had my badge), I just went into our local Sainsbury's and explained the situation to them - they were happy for me to use the disabled spaces. Good luck!

LizG Wed 12-Jun-13 16:29:08

I have to say it came as a shock to me as well GillieB. When I got one for my mother it was all done through the doctor and her needs were much the same as mine are now. Oh well, I've contacted the supermarkets and will wait and see if they want my custom smile.

Thank you all for your very kind replies, they really are much appreciated flowers

Galen Wed 12-Jun-13 16:56:17

Mobility allowance gives automatic entitlement to a blue badge. If you are over 65 you can't apply for mobA. It used to be at the discretion of the councils but now I believe there are nationwide criteria.
Pedant alert:- LizG did the council actually say this criteria or _these_criteria?

LizG Wed 12-Jun-13 22:08:49

Had to read it again to check Galen, but the council it say: 'this' and as there was neither an 'n' or 'm' I guess it should have been 'these'.smile

ninathenana Wed 12-Jun-13 22:10:50

I agree that it can be a postcode lottery. My friend has bowel problems she has a blue badge purely on the basis that she needs to park near the loos.

She has been challenged many times by other drivers.

nanapug Wed 12-Jun-13 22:20:04

When I was in a wheelchair after leg surgery, but not eligible for a blue badge, I used to leave a note on the dashboard when I went to supermarkets, explaining that I was a temporary wheelchair user and I didn't have any problems but it wasn't at S.... supermarket!!

LizG Thu 13-Jun-13 09:38:45

My sister has RA and is now severely disabled. When it was bad but not quite so noticeable she had a blue badge and drove around in a VW campervan (original). She had many an argument with people who assumed the badge was not hers. I bet they wouldn't want to change places with her now, but it taught me that what you see is not always what you think it is.

FlicketyB Thu 13-Jun-13 09:42:16

I once took a disabled friend to a supermarket. I parked in a disabled bay and then went in to Information to request a wheelchair and explain why I was therefore parking in a disabled bay without a blue badge. They were vey helpful. They took details of my car; colour, make and registration number and that was it. We shopped, ate, and went back to the car without let or hindrance.

Deedaa Thu 13-Jun-13 23:30:09

I found that if I took my MiL to Waitrose and explained to the security guy that, although we didn't have a blue badge, she couldn't walk and needed a wheel chair he would find us a space near the entrance.

anneey Fri 21-Jun-13 10:29:07

I have just had my assessment to renew my blue badge.
my concern is that the rules have changed and they are over the top.
I went on one of my 'good walking days'. so may need to appeal.
I am over 65yrs old, and don't now drive.
I have the use of Dial a Ride, but rarely use it as the ramps on the roads hurts my back and I cant help crying out 'aaahhh'
Please,please any advice is welcome?