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Life-changing ‘£65’ disabled bay refused

WH 050814 Phil Burton has been turned down for a disabled parking bay outside his house. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140608-005546001

WH 050814 Phil Burton has been turned down for a disabled parking bay outside his house. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140608-005546001

A DISABLED man faces paying thousands of pounds to pave over his front garden because a council refuses to spend a few pounds on a disabled parking bay.

Supermarket worker Phil Burton, 58, of Strathmore Road, Worthing, has spent a year pleading with West Sussex County Council to paint the bay outside his house.

Northbrook county councillor Robin Rogers has been lobbying council officers for the bay on Mr Burton’s behalf but has also seen his requests rejected.

Mr Burton now faces a costly bill to widen his driveway, which will enable him to manoeuvre his specially-adapted car outside his house more easily.

“The worst-case scenario is I come home, it’s chucking it down with rain and have to park 20 or 25 yards down the road,” he said.

“It takes 12 minutes to get the chair out the car and another five to eight minutes to get inside. I end up looking like a drowned rat.

“Having a disabled bay outside would make a massive difference for me.”

Located on a bend of the narrow road, when there are several cars parked on both sides, it makes accessing the driveway difficult.

Because Mr Burton’s wheelchair lifts out of the back of his car, he has to reverse on – almost an impossible task at busy times.

He soon plans to buy a new, larger vehicle, in order to take his grandchildren out in, which will make manoeuvrability harder.

The poor condition of pavements also makes it hard for him to use his wheelchair.

Mr Rogers said: “I assumed it would be a formality and it would get done.

“Surely it is easier to put in a painted line, which would only cost around £60.

“It’s easy for me to park down the road, I can walk it. But anything that makes his quality of life better is worthwhile.”

The bay would not be legally enforceable, as it would not be accompanied by a traffic regulation order.

But the pair believe this would make it cheaper and residents would avoid using it as a moral obligation.

Mr Burton said: “If I can’t get a bay, I’d have to pay for a lot of work to be done on the drive. It would cost thousands.

“If I wasn’t working, I would probably get a grant, so I would be better off on incapacity benefit. But I enjoy my job.”

A spokesman for West Sussex County Council said strict criteria for bays needed to be met.

He said: “In this case, the conditions which would have enabled a disabled parking bay to be provided at this address were not met.”

 

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