Although there sadly isn't a café, M&S has opened a new Food Hall in Doncaster and although there is an adjacent car park only 8 spaces are given over to the disabled, the parking spaces in this area are also used by customers for Staples, Next and Costa Coffee, so it could be argued that M&S is only providing two disabled parking spaces hence, these are again, at a premium.. I have discovered that the disabled have a right to expect that they are not, as far as is reasonably possible, placed in a position where their disability places them at a disadvantage in comparison to other customers. M&S have provided all manner of excuses in regard to their parking provision. Ultimately the only solution they could offer was to endeavour to bear my comments in mind when stores were built/replaced. I very much doubt replacement stores/car parks will be built in my lifetime. Would it really be out of the question for M&S to add a few more parking spaces for the disabled? It should be possible to re-allocate parking to increase the disabled area. Clearly M&S have made a misjudgement when providing parking and I'm not only surprised by this but also surprised that their attitude to their misjudgement is so poor. I'd be interested to know if anyone else has encountered similar problems.
Thanks a lot for your reply. At busy times the able-bodied section of the car park adjacent to the large M&S Food Hall in Doncaster can be quite busy, but it is part of a larger car park and the further away the able-bodied spaces are from M&S, the more there are available: and so the able-bodied just walk a bit further for their space at times of the week when it's busy. However 8 disabled parking bays (shared with three other stores) in Doncaster is ludicrous for a borough with a population of 302,000! I pointed out to M&S the disabled using able-bodied parking areas, which are further from the store: isn't really a solution particularly as, of course: those able-bodied spaces closest to the store are the most popular amongst the able-bodied and therefore likely to be unavailable.
I would either send a letter or phone your council as you will find the car park is either owned by them or a private company and then you can take it up with them about the lack of disabled parking. I understand the problems you are having because it's the same way with us. All our local Supermarkets except Sainsbury's have around 6 disabled car parking spaces, Sainsbury's have at least 10 maybe more. We also have noticed these industrial shopping area's have a short fall in disabled car parking spaces to the amount of shops I'd say around 2 spaces per shop!! All supermarkets and Industrial shopping parks need to re-envaluate the amount or non-amount of disabled car parking spaces and think about the amount of disabled customers they have per day and look at changing the amount of disabled parking places to a more fairer number to keep us disabled customers happy!!
I really appreciate your comments and suggestions, thank you. It would seem that this is a widespread issue. I think it's a good idea to contact the Council and will do that and add to the forum concerning any input they make on this problem. Strangely enough we went to Sainsbury's today so I was able to count their disabled parking bays and they have around 20! ... which is of course brilliant and I'm pleased to see from your comments that this seems to be a policy of theirs. Of course when all the disabled parking bays are taken we, none of us, can be sure that all of the users genuinely have a disability/are Blue Badge holders and sometimes you see the car occupants dash into the shop seemingly without any difficulty whatsoever! so although you're fairly sure they shouldn't be using a disabled space: I would always hesitate to challenge anyone in these circumstances as I am all too aware that not every disability is as visible as my own. However I'm quite sure that those providing the parking are also well aware that these spaces are often abused by the able-bodied so if for instance: M&S, together with Next, Costa Coffee and Staples in Doncaster increased their 8 disabled bays to 10: at any given time perhaps we could only be sure that 8 or 9 of these were being used by those who are entitled to do so: therefore for every extra space added it could be said that the disabled are only restoring one of those lost to the parking cheats! And of course it follows that if the additional spaces are being taken for the disabled from the able bodied area of the car park then we are only really taking back, on a permanent basis, the spaces that the (minority) able bodied parking cheats deprive us of!
I know what you mean about able-bodied people stealing the spaces! I'm a real stickler when I'm out (very rarely) and I check along the line of parked cars to see if the spaces are occupied by blue badge holders and if I see one with no blue badge I kick up a stink!! My husband gets really embarrassed by it and if the culprit is on the way back to the car and I get my hands on them I give them a right telling off saying 'do you realise these spaces are like gold dust and you have taken a space that a disabled person really needs unlike you who is able-bodied!!' And if they reply 'I was only gone a minute I needed to rush to get something' I come back at them 'you where gone more than a minute as it took a good 5 minutes for us to find a space and my poor husband to take the chair out of the car and get me in to it and then park the car because there was no disabled parking spaces because of you being ignorant to disabled people by taking their car parking space!' By this time the person is bright red and apologetic! or answering me back rudely and a collection of people watching it and witnessing it and I shrug my shoulders and say 'some people these days!'. As for my poor husband he is bright red and says 'do you have to make a scene?' and I say 'Yes!!'.
I loved you account of how you ticked off the able-bodied parking cheats...good for you! (and 99 times out of 100 you can of course bet that it's not truly urgent) ... if all the able-bodied people parking deemed their need as 'urgent' then all the cars would be trying to obtain one parking area! and how long anyway does it normally take an able-bodied person to walk the extra distance to the able-bodied parking area? ... only a matter of seconds in most car parks. I've found the Facebook page of the Council and am about to write to them now about M&S. I do feel that using Social Media will be more effective as the person who's replying will be aware that the person they're replying to isn't the only person who will read their reply!
Amanda2 wrote: I loved your account of how you tick off the able-bodied parking cheats... good for you! they need it! I don't care how urgent their shopping trip was (and 99 times out of 100 you can of course bet that it's not truly urgent) ... if all the able-bodied people parking deemed their need as 'urgent' then all the cars would be trying to obtain one parking area! and how long anyway, does it normally take an able-bodied person to walk the extra distance to the able-bodied parking area?... only a matter of seconds in most car parks. I've found the Facebook page of the Council and am about to write to them now about M&S. I do feel that using Social Media will be more effective as the person who's replying will be aware that the person they're replying to isn't the only person who will read their reply!
Probably inevitably: I've still not made any progress with this however I will not drop it! I've still not heard from them! As I said: I won't be deterred on this matter and I will update here as soon as I have any news. Amanda
I tweet companies rather than Facebook them as companies seem to use Twitter more than Facebook!! I have had more joy doing it that way. Some companies open accounts on Facebook and Twitter and never use them. Have you got an address for this parking company as you may get more joy just writing an old fashion letter and posting it to them!!