SELFISH drivers are making life ‘impossible’ for disabled shoppers in Stratford.
Chloe Print Lambert suffers from Ehlers Danlos Syndrome which leaves her reliant on a specialist wheelchair to get around as she has no use of her legs.
Due to the fatigue and daily struggles with stomach problems and joint dislocation, 21-year-old Chloe is often in hospital or at the Bidford family home – which was recently revamped as part of television show DIY SOS, with the episode set to air later this year.
On the occasions she is well enough to get out of the house, blue badge holder Chloe goes to Stratford.
But sometimes she has to turn around and go back home again because there are no suitable parking spaces.
The former Stratford Girls’ Grammar School pupil – who is most often driven by mum Suze or partner Jordan – told the Observer: “I’ve been struggling with people parking in disabled spaces in town, parking over lines and obstructing dropped curbs even to the point we have had to just drive home because we can’t park.
Chloe – whose illness is not curable but is controllable with medication – is hoping by speaking up about inconsiderate drivers, people might think twice before they park in or obstruct a disabled space.
She added: “When I went shopping recently I saw a young couple park in the disabled space closest to the shop, consequently a man who was severely disabled had to then park far away. I am aware that not every disability is visible, but when I asked the couple they told me ‘we only just popped in’ which confirmed my suspicions.
“While disabled spaces may enable people to park more easily, it can ruin the chances of a blue badge holder being able to stop at all.
“The split second of poor decision by someone else can make the day of a disabled person unbelievably difficult.”
A recent survey by Churchill Car Insurance revealed the biggest excuse of drivers was “It was only for a short time, so I didn’t think it mattered.”
The research also found many believed drivers should be hit with penalty points on their licences rather than just a fine.
Steve Barrett, head of car insurance at Churchill said: “Bays dedicated to disabled drivers are there to make life easier for those who may struggle with accessibility and parking in these bays when not eligible is extremely selfish.”