Calls for disabled spaces denied

CALLS for disabled car parking spaces in a Suffolk town centre have today been denied – because fears able-bodied car drivers will abuse the system.Proposals had been put forward by Stowmarket Town Council to allow disabled drivers to park on the Market Place on non market days.

CALLS for disabled car parking spaces in a Suffolk town centre have today been denied – because fears able-bodied car drivers will abuse the system.

Proposals had been put forward by Stowmarket Town Council to allow disabled drivers to park on the Market Place on non market days.

But the council has been forced to admit the likelihood other car drivers would ignore the disabled-only signs, and the fact it cannot afford to enforce punishments.

Gordon Paton, mayor, said: "I support adding a number of spaces around the market place but we cannot do it unless we have means of enforcing it to ensure it's just used by disabled people."

Councillor Twiggy Davis said: "There are always going to be cheeky people who are not disabled who will park there and the council has no way of handling that."

At the council's planning and amenities meeting yesterday, councillors said a clamping scheme was too expensive to enforce. They also agreed they did not want to bring confrontation to the town centre.

Most Read

Councillor Frank Whittle said: "We mustn't forget there are two extra car parking spaces earmarked for Crowe Street to add to the three that are there already.

"The problem here is people will park and say they'll only be two minutes as they nip to the bank and then disabled drivers are no better off.

"Clamping would give the town a bad name and we are already suffering in the town centre."

The council could not reach a decision. The issue is expected to be discussed again after consultation with disabled organisations from the area.

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter