Plans by council chiefs to take action against taxis parking in disabled bays in South Tyneside have caused quite a stir with Gazette readers.
Earlier this week a fed-up reader got in touch saying he was sick of seeing taxis – from various companies – parked in the disabled parking bays outside of Hebburn Asda, in Station Road.
The pensioner, who is registered disabled, claims the problem has been going on for a number of years, and it’s very unfair to people who depend on the bays.
He snapped two pictures of taxies parked up outside the shop last Friday.
Now, bosses at South Tyneside Council say they will be contacting firms to remind them of the restrictions and monitoring the situation.
However, many fellow readers have been left frustrated and voiced their opinions on the paper’s Facebook page and website about the parking issues taxi drivers face.
Kris Elliott said: “Parking or dropping off? If an elderly customer with severely reduced mobility wants dropped off there what is the driver supposed to do, drop them a hundred yards up the road or oblige them and pull into this bay for 30 seconds?”
Alan Caldwell helpfully explained: “There is no pick- up or drop-off point for taxis.
“To the rear of the disabled parking bays is the bus stop, which drivers have been fined for using, and to the front of the disabled parking bays are white zig zag lines, which is no parking at all.
“Then in front of them is the lane to the traffic lights to turn left or go straight ahead so you can’t stop there, the only answer is to stop in the middle of the road with our hazard lights on at the right of the disabled parking bays, blocking traffic causing traffic jam.”
Neil Barry wrote: “I doubt very much it’s just taxis that park in those bays, maybe as much attention could be brought to the taxi ranks taxis can’t get onto because of the public parking on there.”
Derek Edmond queried: “If people phone for a taxi, where are you supposed to pick them up from, bearing in mind they have shopping as well to put in car?”
The truthhurts sent in: “Sorry, but it’s not just taxi drivers that abuse the system, the usual response is ‘I was only in the shop for a few moments’. I am afraid that ignorance is not a disability!”
flapper340 wondered: “So what happens if the taxi is picking a disabled person up?”
Duncan Lee asked: “What about when “disabled driver” parks in a parent and toddler space then you see them returning with two bags of shopping in each hand?”