Thursday, March 05, 2009

Clamping Alert

It has to be said that I wander into ASDA on Whinbush Way without paying much attention to the signage that the company has put up around the car park. Had I done so, I would have seen that ASDA now threaten anyone who parks illegitimately in bays reserved for disabled people or those with children, with a £60 fine.

I'm often inclined to write these messages from supermarkets off as simply paying lip service to good manners - but no, I've learned that a local resident without a blue badge who parked in a disabled bay recently did indeed get his car clamped. Money had to be handed over to get the vehicle released.

Clamping is a very emotive issue. When I was doing my stint as Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, I wouldn't entertain their use in public car parks or in resident parking bays - clamping has an appalling reputation owing to the behaviour, I have to say, of some councils and private operators down south. It's an exercise that tends to wind drivers up, when there are plenty of statutory powers open to the local council to fine drivers who don't pay for tickets, for example.

Supermarkets, which don't have the legal framework available to local authorities, are an entirely different matter. I fully support what ASDA are doing, and hope that other supermarkets follow their lead. It makes my blood boil when I see fit and healthy people skipping lightly into a supermarket having parked in a bay for disabled drivers. I often find myself wanting to challenge them, but you never know how these confrontations are going to end.

I've contacted ASDA's PR people, who've told me that when the scheme was first trialled in Liverpool, the number of free spaces increased by 60% for disabled people and those with children. All money from the fines goes to the baby charity Tommy and Motability, the national disability charity.

When surveyed, apparently 4 out of 5 ASDA shoppers agreed with the policy. So do I, and it's only the minority lazy and thoughtless drivers who will object. We'll be mentioning ASDA's initiative in our next newsletter, so no-one can say that they've not been warned!


Anonymous said...

Quite right, it's the most infuriating thing in the world.

I wouldn't have any problem with Asda going further and crushing offenders' cars into tiny cubes, before setting fire to them.

It'd be a joy to see the looks on the idle, inconsiderate sods' faces when they returned.

miketually said...

Are they planning on doing anything about the people who park in the "Pick up and drop off only" area, or on the approach to the petrol station?

One thing I've been meaning to ask Asda for ages, but have never got around to, is their cycle parking. They removed the (terrible, token) bike rack ages ago and replaced it with a hoop for tying dogs to and a water bowl, which is never used.

Anonymous said...

What a surprise that Cllr Wallis shops at ASDA a wholly owned subsidy of the WAL-MART Corporation of America. This firm makes Tesco look like a bunch of Sunday school choir boys with their anti union policies (yes anti union my card carrying member of the labour party) and deliberate and proven record of subverting small business and exploitation of third world workers. The Walton family who own this massive combine are in the US top ten rich list, with a combined nett worth in excess of $102 billion donated a whopping $5,000 to charity in 2006-07 (they do say charity starts at home).

Either your attempting to be more "working class" and prove you don’t shop at M&S/ Waitrose have failed or your simply not willing to consider the actions of a company you spend money with.

See the links below and reconsider who you do business with Cllr Wally, or perhaps see what Michael Moore has to say about them in Bowling for Columbine, I’m sure your butler could rent it for you from Blockbusters.

Ian White said...


Just a reminder to all readers that not all disabled people are in wheel chairs or walk with stick.

You say "It makes my blood boil when I see fit and healthy people skipping lightly into a supermarket having parked in a bay for disabled drivers."

However people should not be so fast to judge others disabilities by outward appearance alone, however whilst I hate clamping in certain horror stories/programes we have all seen on TV and in the press, in the case of disabled bay abuse I do agree.

Darlington Councillor said...

Ian. Your point is very well made. I've mentally slapped myself on the wrist for a rather slack bit of thinking.

Mike. I entirely take your point, and I've contacted the relevant officers at the Town Hall to liaise with ASDA about this issue. I'll feed back any response I get.

As for our anonymous friend - well, yes I know that Walmart have a very poor reputation in the States for some of their employment and planning practices.

As far as I know, there is no current Trade Union led boycott of ASDA, and as it's my local supermarket, I'll continue to use it!

Anonymous said...

Cllr Wallis,

Surely your local supermarket is in Sedgefield not even Darlington these days, dont you have a TS postcode these days?

Anonymous said...

I thought your local supermarket would be Tesco's in Norton.
While agreeing with Ian White that not all disabled people walk with a stick or travel around in a wheelchair, I would also add that not everyone with a disabled badge in their car is incapacitated.

They get given out fairly easily and although some people are genuine and deserving there are a lot that ain't.
I park in disabled bays regularly if there are no child spaces available.

Keep your eyes peeled, there are excessive amounts of parking bays for the disabled (many of whom are frauds) and very few child spaces by comparison (you cannot be fraudulent about having kids). They are further away too.

It is unbelievable how many disabled bays B&Q has at Morton Park.
Disabled bays at B&Q Do it yourself store?????????
Not exactly the sort of shop for the unwell and disabled.

It makes me wonder how disabled these badge holders actually are?
As I said before a lot of them are Frauds and a growing amount of people like me with kids and no where to park are happy to occupy the multitudes of spaces given to these fraudulent skivers in the name of Political Correctness.

I piss on Wallmart Asda and their fraudulent disabled badge holding buddies.

Ian White said...

Disabled bays at B&Q Do it yourself store?????????"

Can the disabled not go to a DIY these days?, no one said they were laying a new drive or building an extension, they may of just wanted a tap washer or a screw driver.

I agree some badges are abused, but disabled people are NOT second class citizens and are to be encouraged to do as much as is possible.

Have you ever thought they may be at the DIY because they cannot afford to pay a workman to do the job they need doing.

It makes me angry the disabled are encouraged to do things like light exercise, walking, cycling, swiming etc by Doctors as theraputic relief (obviously depending on level of disability) but if seen to do any of these things then are no longer disabled????

Once again, I say not all disabled people are outwardly recognisable it could be an internal or mental problem, should they not be able to fix the fence or mow the lawn.

Why must they walk badly or be in a wheel chair to be accepted by society as disabled, thats called discrimination.

You rant on about not enough mother and child bays well think of that problem this way... having a child is a choice you conciously make, having a disability is NOT and having a disabled child is even worse.

Some people don't know when to count their blessings, many would welcome the fact they can walk that extra distance from the mother and toddler parking, spare a thought for them.

I don't know much about legally parking in the Disabled bays if the mother and child bays are full, I don't know if this is allowed or not so can't comment, personally I cannot see it but stand to be corrected.

What if I went with my 60+ year old mam could I park in a mother and mother and child bay? Think about that one!

I would suggest to solve your problem you apply for one of these "easy to get badges" and your problem will be solved.Then you might just find out how hard they are to get.

As for "I piss on Wallmart, Asda and their fraudulent disabled badge holding buddies."
I,m sorry but despite reading it several times, I just don't follow that part???

Once again don't judge a book by its cover, you can always report someone if you believe they are misusing their blue badge.

Rant over!

Anonymous said...

So because somebody is mental they should have parking spaces reserved for them in a prime position outside the shop entrance?
No wonder Nick Wallis and his deranged Labour buddies support this idea then.

It is reasons like this that make normal people furious that if a person is schizophrenic or suffering with their nerves but have no physical handicap they get privileged parking spaces.

Why should a poor mother with toddlers at risk of running under cars be shunted further away with fewer spaces? Or struggling getting a baby carrier out in a narrow space because there aren't enough mother & baby spaces while disability fraudsters get too many spaces.

I don't understand it. There are tons more mothers and young children than there are seriously incapacitated people, yet they get more spaces??????

dave said...

Whilst I of course agree with Ian WHITE that you cannot always tell outwardly if someone has a disability, i am not so sure how this relates to the parking issue.

Surely if somone is outwardly fit and healthy so that they do not appear disabled or require assistance, they should be equally fit and able to use the same parking provision as anyone else?

schizophrenic said...

I as disabled have silently been following this topic but feel after the last annonymous comment I must post.

Anonymous you seem to have some mental issues of your own, if I were you I would apply for a blue badge, apparently it's really "easy"?.

I think Ian originally was merely trying to explain that not all people with a disability have walking issues, and I can see how on face value this would anger "normal" people, but most would tread carefully with diplomacy and not tar everyone with the same fraudster brush.

He also correctly points out that people who misuse their blue badge can be reported to the issuing Council, I assume in your case Darlington, I'm sure Cllr Wallis would give you the contact number.

However you equally seem to have a selfish attitude that mothers just because they also have hardship(through choice) at the shops should be given priority, you can't have your cake complaining about one groups perks and eat it by making yourself the benefactor of their demise!

You also admit to breaking the law, you say "if all the mother bays are full you AB-use the disabled bays" is you who is breaking the law, NOT the legitimate badge holders.

I especially liked "It is reasons like this that make normal people furious that if a person is schizophrenic ...... but have no physical handicap they get privileged parking spaces."!

Worthy of Hitler, do you vote BNP, why not lets have them (the disabled) all euthenised and make all the now defunct disabled bays for selfish ignorant mothers with prams.

The only reason they make mothers bays wider is so all the bad pram drivers don't scratch the "normal" peoples cars.

You have turned what set out as a valid point about disabled people into a selfish self centered topic, if I were on the schizophrenic blue badge panel you would be the first to get two.

A 50p condom or the pill would of saved you all your parking woe's, ever thought of internet shopping even the schizophrenic could possibly do that, although they may end up with twice as much as they set off to buy?

Why not take all benefit from these "fraudsters" and add it to family allowance/child benefit, I bet that sounds great. Then you would have their benefit their parking bays but not their ailments...Just what does that make you?

I pray that you and yours never suffer any debilitating illness or health issues in the future, I really mean that....


Darlington Councillor said...

Let me simply say this - bays for disabled people or for parents with young kids are simply a display of good manners. Just as (I would hope) you would stand up and give your seat to someone either infirm through age, or disabled, or struggling with a toddler on a packed bus or train, so the reserved bays are recognition that some people often need a bit more help. The vast majority understand and respect this.

To be a bit more controversial, it's akin to what some people call 'Political Correctness' but which I again simply think of as showing good manners.

It's a shame that enforcement of the bays is necessary, but one or two comments above amply indicate that showing a bit of consideration to others is not a universal quality...

ex-labour said...

Nick said...

"It's a shame that enforcement of the bays is necessary, but one or two comments above amply indicate that showing a bit of consideration to others is not a universal quality..."


Paul Turner said...

I can understand people getting sick of the excessive amounts of parking bays for the disabled and the others that may just be workshy and undeserving.
Another thing that sickens me is that building regs make all houses wheelchair friendly with lower light switches low door entrances low central heating controls. Which by implication mean that they are also in the reach of kiddies hands.
Instead of making everyone else suffer and risk people becoming unsympathetic to the disabled I think that houses should just be built as normal but generous grants given to disabled people when they move into a property with no expense spared to adjust houses to make them suitable. For instance an electrician would not fit a light switch for me over a certain height, three and a half foot I think because of new building regulations, and that really got up my nose. I just did the job myself in the end.

ex-labour said...

I did not know of these new regulations they do seem excesive and Paul you are right they are like muslim protestors turning people against a minority.

On a new builb perhaps it should be established first if the new owner is disabled or not, or as an electrician myself they could always leave extra cable behind the swith to lower it if need be.

Perhaps a budding dragons den inventor could invent something which allowed disabled people (I assume in wheel chair) to operate light switches from a sat position.

Perhaps we should have height restrictions on toddlers so only those below a certain height are allowed use of the bays, Im sure our anonymous "illegal parker" would love that ....unless of course her kids are tall!

miketually said...

"Another thing that sickens me is that building regs make all houses wheelchair friendly with lower light switches low door entrances low central heating controls"

Kids still can't reach them until they're fairly old anyway. I'd welcome lower switches, as it would mean not having to go and turn the landing light on every time our 3-year-old wants to go to the loo! I've extended the bathroom light cord, so she can do that herself.

"Perhaps a budding dragons den inventor could invent something which allowed disabled people (I assume in wheel chair) to operate light switches from a sat position."

Perhaps able bodied people could move their hand to a position 9" lower than normal when turning on a light?