Blue Badge Warning…
As a relatively mobile Phantom I have never known rules and regulations of the Blue Badge parking scheme. I do know that it’s supposed to allow easy access to people with disabilities, which is why I’m always scrupulous about never parking in disabled bays at Sainsbury’s even when it’s 2.00am and I’m the only one there. Likewise it bugs the hell out of me when others aren’t so thoughtful – I confess to a sneaking satisfaction when I was walking through Sainsbury’s car park recently and saw a builder’s pick up truck in a disabled space that had been clamped…
But that’s not what I’m writing about today. Today I’m letting you know (rather late, the email went astray – folks, do send stuff to me via the address on the page rather than via the Phantom Webmaster as it can slip through the net – about an experience a blue badge holder had in the car park in Greenwich High Road, next to the main post office.
It has recently been taken over by a private parking firm, apparently, VJC Parking management. Mr G has been a blue badge holder for many years and has always been allowed to park there free of charge. VJC have changed the rules and now blue badge holders have to pay, but instead of advertising the fact clearly, they are waiting for the holder to display their badge, then issue a PCN while the holder’s away.
Now, presumably, there is a notice actually on the signs, but if you’ve been parking there for years, it’s easy to miss changes in a sign. Mr G did his usual thing – parked up, nipped into the post office for a couple of minutes, and came out to see a warden in the middle of issuing a fine. The parking attendant told Mr G he had watched Mr G displaying the badge – which sort of goes to show they’re not up for just telling people they can’t park for free, they just want the cash.
I guess the issue here is not the parking charge as such, blue badges are supposed to allow access, not necessarily free access, it’s the way people are informed.
If I was a Phantom Parking Attendant I’d be rubbish at my job – I’d feel the need to tell someone if a rule had changed that they needed to know about. There’s deliberately taking the Michael, like the builder vans in disabled spaces – and there’s genuine mistakes. I like to think I’d know the difference.
So – just be careful if you have a blue badge, eh, folks. READ THE NOTICE!