Shoppers are being asked to consider others in the festive shopping rush this Christmas.
National disabled motorist charity Disabled Motoring UK are appealing to shoppers to not be selfish when they park their cars in retail areas and ensure that disabled parking provisions are not compromised.
The issue of disabled parking bay abuse is one which affects disabled motorists and their passengers throughout the year, but the problem is particularly apparent in the run-up to Christmas.
Increased visitor numbers to retail centres and heightened stress levels creates the perfect condition for rushed parking jobs, which leads in turn to more incidents of parking abuse.
In addition to this, poor weather condition can lead more people to take to their cars, further exacerbating parking problems.
Popular television show Top Gear has recently come under fire for parking abuse after presenters Jeremy Clarkson and James May parked in disabled bays to discuss the merits of electric cars, while soaps including Coronation Street have also been pulled up for characters parking in disabled bays.
Helen Dolphin, the charity’s director of campaigns and policy, said “The festive period is a very busy one for lots of people. We are asking shoppers to remember that many disabled people rely on a car to get around.
“Public transport is not always accessible and disabled people may not be able to get to the bus stop or station in order to access it.
“But in order to be able to work, shop and socialise using their vehicle, disabled people rely on being able to park close to their destination.
2Often people don’t set out to cause a problem for others and don’t realise the impact that their actions can have.
“We want to show what the impact is and make people aware that there is no excuse for parking abuse.”