I address this to the chairman of the Horsham Society and the other members of the public who have made extremely ill-informed comments in reference to Horsham’s East Street and Blue Badge holders.
Anyone who holds a Blue Badge and a Tax Exempt Vehicle, ie a free tax disc, only get’s that if they are in receipt of DLA or ILA and cannot walk more than 50 yards without being in pain!
We are entitled by law to access, also under the Disability Rights and Equality Laws I have the same right of access as you do but because of my disability by law I require that access to be available within 50 yeards and that is a regulation not some whim.
The two car parks mentioned are more than 50 yeards away. Also, because HDC has failed to put access to those car parks in such a way accessible to a disabled person with an exempt vehicle without paying (yes, we are entitled to free parking also) we then have to play about taking the Blue Badge and the receipt to the ‘Hut’ in Albion Way car park to get a refund - but if you’re in a high vehicle you cannot get in!
The original TRO and the only full one in force (the present one is just a temporary one as a ‘trial’) would have been more than enough had HDC / WSCC enforced the restrictions correctly, which they never have!
In reference to the so-called ‘cafe culture’, before the 10.30 restriction was put in place when traversing East Street I would regularly be verbally abused by idiot members of the public.
Also the cafes regularly encroached further and further out in to the street with their signage making it so narrow there was nothing left for pedestrians to walk on if I or another disabled car/vehicle came by.
As to the Carfax and the ‘chariots’, the road surface is a nightmare for the disabled, especially if like me you have a spinal injury. Drive across in a car with its decent suspension, no problem, but in one of those ‘chariots’ it is torture! Plus those ‘chariots’ are technically maxed out weight wise at 21 stone and many disabled including myself are over that.
Now to the lack of disabled parking bays in Horsham and their extremely poor placement. I have lost count of how many times I have phoned HDC to report a fit and healthy driver taking a disabled spot, and on one occasion I was told ‘Oh we will send someone up tomorrow’! What a joke - I am there now I need a space available.
The disabled parking bays are of little use to someone who has a chairlift fitted to the vehicle as they are of insufficient length if a rear loader and if a side loader because the driver is the one in the chair.
They are totally inadequate and they require a flat even surface so the cobbled surface of the Carfax is out. A flat road or flat brick type cobbles or slabs is what are needed.
The amount of disabled parking available in Horsham town is ridiculously inadeqaute. Sainsbury’s in Crawley has more in its car park than the whole of Horsham town.
West Street is totally flat but I only visit Wilko’s and the Pound Shop because if I need to I can rest at those low benches by the fountain. I park at the rear of Wilko’s as there is no disabled parking anywhere close. If I want to visit the rest of West Street I either do it in a ‘chariot’ or don’t go (I think I have used one twice).
Like the rest of Horsham town, I and the other disabled are being driven out.
So I repeat my comment I said at the outset and referred to at the North Horsham County Meeting, I and other disabled people have a right of access (which you as a taxpayer pay for). Provide that access.
That is why the council ducked out of the decision because it had not done an ‘Impact Statement’ and had it done so it would have had to block the temporary TRO by law.
I am quite willing to meet with anyone and explain if so requested.
But please make yourself aware of the rules regarding Blue Badges and tax exempt vehicles first; we are still members of this town.
Church Road, Horsham