LETTER: Disabled don’t have an easy life

In response to the letter complaining about having to pay for parking at Horsham Hospital despite having a Blue Badge, Uglybetty says “Surely, if you can afford to own/drive/run a car then you can afford to pay to park it”, and Vivibee says “Being disabled does not mean they are less well off than others”.

I don’t expect I’m the only person writing in to say how offensive it is to say that if you can afford a car then you can afford to pay to park!

Clearly neither of these people have any experience or understanding of what it means to live with disability. If you cannot work you have to rely on disability benefits; if you cannot walk far or stand for long then you are dependant on having your own transport, so you have to make sacrifices and somehow afford a car unless you qualify for the higher rate mobility component of DLA (which has now been replaced by PIP) in which case you can give up your mobility money and lease a Motabilty car.

You don’t have the luxury of choosing to ride a bike or walk to save money. Unless you are so severely disabled that you don’t have to pay car tax you have to pay the same as everyone else in the council owned car parks.

Most disabled people surviving on disability benefits or state pension cannot afford to pay to park especially as everything takes so much longer, they can’t just nip in and out of a shop in five minutes for example, and hospital appointments can take hours.

I am the mother of a 33 year old disabled person who is blind and has other physical disabilities. The morning on which I write this I had to take her with me to an emergency dentist appointment for myself in town, we visited one shop and then returned to the car and went to Newhouse Farm shop and cafe where we had lunch: we are both now exhausted as I have to lead her by the arm while dodging other people who don’t see her as she’s small, and don’t ask me how I survive being a full-time carer on £55 a week carers allowance!

Disabled people don’t have an easy life and many live in constant pain; to say that they can afford to park just because they have a car is completely ridiculous.

VAL CHURCH

Longfield Road, Horsham