Sympathy in short supply for disabled South Shields driver over £70 parking ticket

Disabled driver Tony Cooke, wants to see more disabled parking bays provided along The Nook at Prince Edward Road.
Disabled driver Tony Cooke, wants to see more disabled parking bays provided along The Nook at Prince Edward Road.

A disabled driver who got a parking ticket after leaving his car in a loading bay hasn’t received much sympathy from Gazette readers.

Blue Badge holder Anthony Cooke, 45, claims he was forced to park in a loading bay outside Tesco Extra at The Nook, South Shields, due to lack of disabled spaces.

But fellow drivers didn’t hold much truck with his complaint after he picked up a £70 fine for parking in the bay, even though he insists it was just for a few minutes.

Rob James commenting on Facebook: “He wasn’t forced to park in the loading bay, he chose to park there of his own accord.”

Alison Irving agreed, saying: “Doesn’t matter if he’s disabled or not, he parked somewhere illegally and got caught.”

Mick Hudson had a little more sympathy, saying: “The Nook is a nightmare to park, there is never enough spaces, but it tells you clearly enough if you have a blue badge you can’t park in a loading bay.”

Christina Walker said: “My father and other family members had a badge, but we don’t need more disabled spaces.

“Parking is a nightmare anyway without reducing normal spaces. It’s often a 15 to 20-minute wait for a space anyway.”

Gav Smith said: “Forced? Who forced him? Can’t he drive round in circles and do laps of The Nook until one turns up like the rest of us.”

Wanda Stockdale put her finger on the problem when she said: “Even if you create more disabled spaces, people with blue badges still won’t be able to get parked because people without a blue badge will park in them and think it’s fine ‘cos I’m only popping in the shop for 5 minutes’.”

Linda Grierson added: “He shouldn’t have parked in a loading bay. The booklet that comes with the badge is very clear where you can and cannot park.

“If there aren’t any spaces you either wait patiently or come back later. - and yes, I also have a Disabled Blue Badge and have had to either wait or return when the place isn’t as busy.”

Finally, Becky Duncan reminded everyone: “For all you complaining about the parking, can you all remember that parking is free there and that’s why The Nook if so popular.

“South Shields is dead due to people not wanting to pay for parking.”

South Tyneside Council defended its parking rules, saying Blue Badge holders can park on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours, but not where there are resctrictions on loading or unloading.