Written by IainB
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Wednesday, 1 February 2012

image for Blue badge holders to pay in Dorking Car Park
Hans Klappen has a rest before tackling the pay-and-display for a final push.

The main car park in Dorking is the subject of the ire of local disabled drivers.

"It used to be free to park in the car-park," said wheelchair bound Hans Klappen. "Now we are being asked to pay and display."

It is not the fact that the disabled drivers are being asked to pay that has angered the Dorking Disabled Drivers group (3D Group).

"We understand the need to have disabled drivers pay parking," said Klappen. "It's only fair, we take up spaces, we should pay."

What has upset the members of the 3D group is that the council have not thought it through. There are five pay and display machines in the car-park. Out of the five only one is anywhere near the disabled bays. And it's up steps.

"Just to make sure even the ambulatory disabled aren't left out of their discrimination," said Klappen, "they've made the pay-and-display machines those ones where you put in your licence plate using keys so small even those with great eyesight and the nimble fingers of a five year old struggle."

This means that in order to use the car-park, as well as having to have the right change, disabled drivers must climb steps or cross a busy car park, bend double - even if they have spinal problems - to reach keyboards arthritic fingers cannot press.

Dorking Councillor in charge of transport, parking and the staff canteen, Doreen Soreen, has defended the move.

"We're a non-discriminatory council," she said. "We believe everybody should be poorly treated in the same way."

Klappen cannot believe that Dorking Council have even bothered.

"There's only five parking spaces for disabled drivers," he said. "At two quid an hour, they're possibly making fifty quid a week out of us. I hope it's worth it."

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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