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Disabled Motorists Face Christmas Parking Chaos

Added: (Tue Nov 28 2000)

Pressbox (Press Release) - For the majority of motorists, the issue of shopping, parking and generally getting around doesn’t usually present any problems. However, for disabled motorists – common issues such as taking public transport to shops, especially around the festive season have been found to be extremely problematic.

A survey, conducted for specialist insurers Privilege Insurance, carried out with disabled motorists living in the UK, showed two thirds (60%) never use any form of public transport. The survey revealed that disabled motorists have to resort to using their own cars because of the problems they experience with access found at shops and places of work.

MORI conducted the survey with members of The Disabled Drivers’ Association, and revealed many alarming statistics about the problems disabled people living in the UK face when tackling the every day routine of travel.

Of those who do not use public transport, 70% cite difficulties getting on or off it as the main reason. For those that do, over half (56%) have to resort to using costly taxis for easier access. And over half (54%) of those who use public transport, stated they found staff on trains, buses and trams unhelpful.

The over-riding concern was finding somewhere to park when they completed their journey – a nightmare when planning that important Christmas shopping trip. Nine out of ten (89%) regularly found disabled parking places already occupied, by non-disabled people’s cars, and nearly 80% found there are far too few disabled spaces situated in public areas. Four in ten found disabled parking spaces were not wide enough, which is obviously a major concern for wheelchair users.

Shopping centres, perhaps the most popular place for Christmas shopping, were found to be the worst places for disabled driver access – with nearly 8 out of 10 (78%) finding they did not provide enough disabled parking spaces. Closely followed by supermarkets (70%), cinemas and theatres (68%) and workplaces (54%).

When reaching their destination, nearly 40% of disabled drivers said they were irritated that disabled parking spaces were not situated close enough to the entrances, or, as 30% of drivers said, there is a lack of wheelchair ramps.

Jim Wallace from Privilege Insurance, comments “Our survey highlighted that there are really serious problems faced daily by disabled drivers. Such simple tasks as shopping, travelling to and from work and going out socially are being hampered by limited access on public transport, unhelpful staff or a shortage of car parking spaces.

“With Christmas looming, motorists must be more considerate when parking due to the fact that less abled drivers need to access shops and retail parks wihout experiencing difficulties with parking.”

Privilege undertook this research to discover disabled drivers’ attitudes towards public transport and the daily issues they have to face. With 1.9 million disabled motorists in the UK, Privilege believes that this section of the driving community shouldn’t face these problems.

The company recognised that motorists with disabilities often need specialised cover, and therefore introduced Mobility Master – a policy which includes many benefits including a free courtesy car or mobility benefit if the driver has an accident, roadside or home assistance and special equipment/modifications cover.


Notes to Editors:
* Privilege Insurance commissioned MORI to conduct research amongst members of the Disabled Drivers Association in April 2000 with 850 members.
* Mobility Master Quoteline – 0845 246 8336
* www.privilege.com On-line quote and buy service, insurance purchased in 2 minutes available 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
* International Day for the Disabled, 3 December – An initiative organised by RADAR where disabled people shadow Ministers and MPs for a day during the week commencing 4 December

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