Stop wrongful use of disabled parking urges Torrent Councillor

The disabled parking bay's at Dungannon Leisure Centre.INTT0814-306SR
The disabled parking bay's at Dungannon Leisure Centre.INTT0814-306SR

Torrent Sinn Féin Councillor Nuala Donnelly voiced her concern over the issue of disabled parking spaces being used by able bodied people.

Councillor Donnelly highlighted that this was a problem that is occurring in both the Coalisland and Dungannon areas.

One particular problem area reported to Councillor Donnelly is outside Dungannon Leisure centre where disabled badge holders are repeatedly denied the right to park in the disabled spaces provided, as they are taken by non-blue badge holders.

This has led to frustration for the Leisure Centre management and staff as well as disabled badge holders.

Speaking at the monthly council meeting, Cllr Donnelly stated: “It’s an absolute disgrace that able bodied individuals park in these spaces, I have been made aware this is an ongoing problem especially at the front of the swimming pool that has been reserved and clearly marked out for disabled users.”

She continued: “Having recently sustained an injury that left me wheelchair bound for a period of time, I was able to experience at first hand the upset and disruption of not being able to park close to the leisure centre to access the services.

“I believe it’s wholly insensitive and inconsiderate to take up, what is a limited number of spaces, at the expense to other disabled users. I appeal to people to please give consideration to those who need these spaces.”

The Sinn Féin Councillor asked the council officers to report at next month’s meeting with a range of possible options that can be taken to stop this practice.

She said she is committed to making sure that this issue is tackled once and for all.

“It’s been going on for too long and the softly, softly approach just isn’t going to wash any longer,” she added.