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Saturday, 5 March 2016

Parent & child bully breed.

Image result for lidl logoOk I was in the wrong. Let's get that sorted straight away. However my wife and I are severely disabled. I have terminal spine cancer and literally cannot walk at all unless on sticks and then painfully slowly, and my wife has a progressive neurological disease as well as acute arthritis, angina and is a diabetic. 

Image result for disabled badgeI had had enough of being stuck indoors and was out with Mrs P on a rare trip around our local Lidl using my wheelchair. It's a lightweight jobby, even so, both of us can only just get it out of the car and set it up between us.  

Pulling into Lidl's massive car park all of the disabled bays, there are only three- in a retirement area known as 'God's Waiting Room'- were full. However, immediately adjacent to them was a vacant 'Parent & Child' bay. So I pulled onto it. We need to be as near to the premises as possible as well as to have extra space around the car and this advantage is afforded by these bays. 

Immediately after several horn blasts, I was accosted by a very animated young woman of the 'Croydon face lift variety' Image result for Croydon facelift cartoon who loudly and very rudely objected to our choice of parking space. The altercation went on for some minutes where it was obvious that, not only was she loud, fit and healthy, but her 'child' was a very upright useful lad of about ten years of age. Not a toddler requiring any unloading space at all or one that needed carrying either. 

Cardiff Mummy Read Cardiff Mummy on this subject. says:  'Does your ‘child’ have a car seat that requires the car door to be fully opened so that you can actually get it out of the car? Does your ‘child’ need help to climb into their car seat and to do up their seat belt? Is your ‘child’ prone to tantrums that see them arching their backs and refusing to get into their car seat, while you stand outside the car in the rain and the cold, trying to reason with them? 'No. I didn’t think so. So stop abusing these parking spaces'   

Later whilst wheeling myself around the store, I noted the young woman and her half grown man walking around and he big enough to carry shopping too. However rather than stay and enjoy the Boy's Toys section, I knew that such trash, with no respect for age and the disabled, are likely to win their day with violence against our very new vehicle so I returned to keep an eye on it. Now the last thing I needed on my escape was any sort of altercation whereby, having made the effort I could not even stay to enjoy the store.

It was then that I noticed that the next car to ours, on one of these bays, also contained a big 'child' and a male driver and was apparently awaiting another adult and toddler to return. What happened next was that a young fit woman, without any kiddies and just carrying two carrier bags, returned to the car which was then driven away.  

So clearly the attitude prevailing seems to be that, providing there's any sort of child in the car, that is licence to not only abuse the system but to abuse elderly people with severe disability too. I would swap my spine cancer with any of them if they would be so prepared.

It's not a valid point for these selfish parents to ask ' Would it be OK if I parked on a disabled bay?' because disabled are disabled. Their badges prove it. They are unable to cover distances so easily as young fit parents with prams and buggies can and from one day old to sixteen years, the definition of 'child' is subjective and open to abuse by the kind who, having produced kiddies, push their buggies at people of all ages and expect them to make way for them too. 

Perhaps there should be more thought about the layout, signs and rules for store car parks.

Why have 'Disabled Bays' and 'Parent & Toddler' bays at the same point? Fit parents, pushing prams, can easily walk across a car park. The disabled can't. 

Cardiff Mummy says: 'We don’t care if these wider spaces are at the back of the car park. We don’t care if we have to walk an extra few yards. Even in the rain. It’s all about the space around our car so that we can get our children in and out of the car safely and without damaging the vehicles around us. It’s also helpful if we have a safe walkway across the car park to the store and trolleys nearby.' 

Disabled would have no interest in any bays not near the entrance. So keep Disabled Bays near the entrance and P & C Bays further away. 

Take away the word 'child' and replace it with 'Baby or toddler' That makes the purpose clear just like the sign above.  

The image on this sign certainly isn't of a baby or toddler but of someone nearly as tall as the adult and so invites abuse.   
 Whereas this sign is very clear about the intent of the scheme. 
If we must have P & C Bays near the entrances then let's make them combined P & C as well as Disabled too, so that we retain exclusive Disabled Bays near entrances but make it clear that parents with children have no precedence over disabled at this place. 

It's interesting what Cardiff Mummy has to say: 'Of course I appreciate that there are people whose needs are greater than mine. If all the disabled bays were full, but someone with a blue badge genuinely needed a wide space with easy access to the store, then I would be the first to move my car out the way and offer them my space.'

In the meantime, no one has the right to rudely accost or rebuke others no matter what the rules or law say. If you think that a driver is breaking a store rule, then get the management to sort it out or just drive past and park up peacefully elsewhere. 

But the stores should revise their parking policy as follows. 

  • Remove all references to 'Child'

  • Separate disabled parking from others.

  • Keep disabled parking near the store entrance 

  • Allow disabled to also use Parent & Toddler Bays if they need to. 

  • In retirement areas, provide more disabled bays.

All this shouldn't be necessary but respecting the elderly and disadvantaged are no longer a principle for all people sadly. 

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