Taxis in South Tyneside spark row after parking in disabled bays

Problem parkers in Hebburn
Problem parkers in Hebburn

Council chiefs have vowed to take action against taxis parking in disabled bays at a shopping centre in South Tyneside.

A fed-up Gazette reader took these pictures, saying he was sick of seeing taxis – from various companies – parked in the disabled parking bays outside of Hebburn Asda in Station Road.

A car in a parking bay

A car in a parking bay

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.

The Hebburn pensioner said: “You see them parked up, sometimes they’re just popping into the shop to buy things, other times they’re sitting waiting for jobs.

These spaces are for people who have disabilities.

Disabled pensioner

“A little while ago an elderly couple was forced to park round the back of the store and then had to struggle to carry all of their shopping in the pouring rain, because there was no room out the front due to the taxis parked there.

“I don’t understand why they don’t get fined, just like people who don’t have blue badges would.

“These spaces are for people who have disabilities, they’re supposed to make their lives easier, not for taxi drivers to park there.”

Council chiefs have said they will now be monitoring the situation.

A council spokesperson said: “Taxis are not exempt from parking in bays reserved for blue badge holders, which are there to allow people with disabilities easier access to local amenities.

“We would like to thank the Gazette reader for highlighting the issue.

“We regularly enforce these bays.

“However we will monitor the situation and act accordingly.

“We will also be contacting the firms to remind them of the restrictions in place.”