Appeal to respect spaces for disabled

Shock figures on hospital parking fines.
Shock figures on hospital parking fines.

Drivers are being urged to respect the disabled parking bays at local hospitals.

The call came from the Southern Health and Social Care Trust as it revealed the overwhelming majority of tickets issued on its sites were for drivers not following the rules for designated disabled bays.

Since the Trust introduced parking enforcement at Craigavon and Daisy Hill hospitals last year 93 per cent of fines issued were to cars parked in disabled spaces without a blue badge.

Vivienne Toal, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development for the Southern Trust said: “As demands on our services continually increase and our hospitals are so busy, we are continually looking for ways to manage traffic congestion.

“We have put great effort into developing our traffic management strategy and have seen very notable improvements in access and safety over recent years.

“The introduction of parking enforcement last year aimed to deter people from parking in drop off zones, disabled spaces and blocking emergency routes.

“However, it is disappointing to see that the abuse of disabled spaces is still an issue, which is undoubtedly causing inconvenience for genuine blue badge holders who need those spaces closer to the entrances.

“We appeal to people who do not have a blue badge to please park that little bit further away to ensure that everyone can access the services they need.”

The crackdown on parking was introduced at Craigavon Hospital in response to a parking survey.