Disabled parking in new Welwyn Garden City town centre 'wholly unsatisfactory'

PUBLISHED: 17:14 06 June 2018 | UPDATED: 17:14 06 June 2018

Pat Frost (right) with her sister Marian Constable. Picture: Mia Jankowicz

Pat Frost (right) with her sister Marian Constable. Picture: Mia Jankowicz

Mia Jankowicz

A Welwyn woman had to ditch her plans after not being able to find a disabled parking bay in the town centre.

Pat Frost (left) with her sister Marian Constable. Picture: Mia JankowiczPat Frost (left) with her sister Marian Constable. Picture: Mia Jankowicz

Pat Frost, 61, found herself unable to visit the town centre today (June 6) due to a lack of available disabled parking spots.

She has Down Syndrome and early-stage dementia, and tires easily - so central parking is essential.

There are four new disabled parking spaces in the trial, but they are discretionary.

This means that drivers without a blue badge won’t be ticketed for using them.

The original disabled parking spots on Howardsgate have been blocked off. Picture: Nina MorganThe original disabled parking spots on Howardsgate have been blocked off. Picture: Nina Morgan

Unsurprisingly, when Pat’s sister and carer Marian Constable took her by car from their home in Welwyn, the spaces were all full.

Marian, 63, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “I would like to know why they have made no provision for disabled parking.

“Pat will be 62 next month and she’s finding walking increasingly difficult.

“She’ll lose the skill if she doesn’t get the practice.”

The sisters wanted to visit a couple of shops and stop for tea, but with the nearest parking on Guessens Road they had to cancel their plans.

“It’s wholly unsatisfactory,” said Marian.

Adding to the issue is the fact that disabled parking spaces need more room, to allow chairs and ramps to operate.

“If they wanted to move the taxi rank, they should take the opportunity to put more disabled spaces in,” Marian added.

“Change can be for the good, but not necessarily.”

The borough of Welwyn Hatfield estimates that it has just 45 disabled parking spaces in the whole borough.

In 2017-18, officers issued 115 tickets to drivers using the spaces without a blue badge.

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