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Wheelchair user Ken Shand is calling for motorists to stop parking in disabled bays in Forres

By Garry McCartney

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Ken has photographed illegal parking on High Street.
Ken has photographed illegal parking on High Street.

A FORCES veteran who uses a wheelchair is calling for local motorists to be more considerate when parking around town.

Forres Community Council member Ken Shand uses his disabled parking permit to park as close as he can to his destinations, however, this is proving more and more difficult as drivers without blue badges occupy designated spaces.

Ken's vehicle wheelchair ramp.
Ken's vehicle wheelchair ramp.

“I’ve had my blue badge for over 20 years,” he said. “It’s supposed to allow parking nearer to places that we all need to go but it’s getting to the point where I’m thinking of giving up trying.

“I need disabled bays to get out of my car with my wheelchair and have a sign on the back door explaining I require a two metre space for my ramp but people like me can’t even get into spaces reserved for us!

“The two bays in the centre of town are a bit dodgy anyway as there’s no lowered curb beside them.

“I’ve also been jammed in, with cars parking behind me on zig-zags while their drivers nip into the supermarket.”

Vehicles without blue badges regularly take up the disabled space at Forres House Community Centre.
Vehicles without blue badges regularly take up the disabled space at Forres House Community Centre.

Ken regularly sees commercial vehicles parked in disabled bays and on zig-zag (prohibited) lines on High Street.

He said: “It most regularly happens in the early morning near the Co-op then late evening at the Lucky Star takeaway.”

A Moray Council spokesperson confirmed on-street parking enforcement in the region is the responsibility of Police Scotland.

She said: “If a car parks in an on-street disabled parking bay and does not display a valid disabled persons parking permit, then report this to Police Scotland by dialing 101.

“In our public car parks, the council can issue Excess Charge Notices for unauthorised use of a reserved disabled bay.

“Complaints of this nature can be made by emailing carparks@moray.gov.uk or by ringing 0300 123 4565.”

Police Scotland checked for records of complaints made about illegal parking in disabled bays in Forres between August and January.

A spokesperson confirmed there have been no official complaints recorded by police during that time.

She added: “ If officers are advised of illegal parking issues then proportionate action will be taken where appropriate.”

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