Disabled man frustrated with waiting in Newport council parking lot
A NEWPORT man has hit out at City Council after months of delays over his application for a disabled parking space.
Paul Edwards asked to have a designated space outside his home last November, but now – more than seven months later – he has yet to receive a response, and says his appeals to the council the had left feeling “stuck in the mud”.
Newport City Council has said it could take up to 18 months to decide on the applications, meaning former steelworker Mr Edwards could have another year of radio silence before knowing if he has been successful.
The experience gave him the impression that people with disabilities are “pushed away”.
Mr Edwards is eligible for mobility benefits, which means he is eligible to apply for a personal disability space, but over the past seven months he and his wife – who is also disabled – have often struggled to find suitable parking near their home in Lliswerry and were forced to walk, on busier days, from spaces in other streets.
This can be especially difficult on days when the couple wants to go shopping. Rather than struggling to carry bags on days when they may have to park farther from home, Mr and Mrs Edwards have had to turn to online grocery deliveries.
In addition to the physical hardship caused by the delays, the 62-year-old, who also has to use a mobility scooter, said he felt the application process was “going nowhere” without “any communication” of the board. .
“I feel a bit aggrieved,” he told the Argus. “My life has changed and I think [the delay] Is unfair.”
A council spokesman said he could not comment on individual requests, but added: ‘Newport City Council receives many requests for disabled parking spaces and four years ago adopted a much fairer allocation policy.
“Bays are not allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis and it can take between 12 and 18 months from receipt and assessment of an application to installation if successful.
“This information is communicated to candidates and available on the town hall’s website.
“Applications can only be made by those who appear to meet the initial eligibility threshold between November and January.
“Priority is based on level of need and all successful applications are subject to confirmation of availability of funds in April and an assessment to ensure the site is suitable and safe. A traffic control order must then be rendered.
“If all the criteria are met, the bays are installed during the financial year – between April and the end of March – following the filing of the file.”