Friday, June 01, 2007

Off message

'We've changed,' says The Boy David.

Then he goes on holiday and the other side of the Tory Party crawls out from under a rock.

Sir Anthony Steen, part of the Bufton Tufton tendency, was in a hurry to catch his train to London and, being an important man, he saw nothing wrong in putting his car into a space reserved for disabled drivers. After all, he had only ever seen one car parked in those spaces at Totnes station and he is an important man - a Tory knight of the shires, after all.

So when he gets a ticket for leaving the car there for three days, he responds by demanding that the station stops discriminating against the able-bodied and says that there are too many
'busybodies in this world running around complaining... There are too many whiners and whingers.'

Who says that the modern Tory party is out of touch with reality? The modern Tory party is probably in close touch with their own version of reality, but outside Notting Hill, the rest of the party is firmly locked in 1959.

According to his Guardian biography, he is a former social worker. I'm sure he must have been a tremendous comfort to his clients.


Richard said...

Not supporting his criminality but he has a point. Disabled spaces are allocated by formula and take no account of the actual numbers of disabled drivers likely to use them.

PoliticalHack said...

Because it is impossible to predict how many will use them. Better that an able-bodied person has to park somewhere else and walk a little more to get to the station than a disabled person turns up, can't find a space and has to go home.

Moseley Blogger said...

Better yet that particular spaces are allocated for idiots, pompous oafs, and people with severe intellectual or social disabilities. Whitby could then have a parking space wherever he goes. However, such a scheme would would prove impossibly expensive as most drivers would automatically qualify. Hence I propose that subsidised public parking (e.g. all on-street) be abolished, and that parking spaces are leased to the highest bidder through carbon offsets, charitable work, or direct subsidy of services and facilities. Car owners should pay for the privilege of clogging up and deprecating valuable community space.

Richard said...

I don't accept that it is 'impossible to predict'. A survey would give a rough idea. May local station has about 20 disabled spaces. I have never seen more than 10 of them in use. Make some spaces 'dual use' depending on demand. Show some imagination!

Anonymous said...

And who is going to decide at any given moment whether a particular space is 'surplus to requirements'?
The only way this can work is where there is a member of staff is on hand to 'release' such a space (as I have seen happen at Solihull where it is staffed by Chiltern, but still keeping 3 or 4 spaces for those who might need them), otherwise any pompus Tory git could take it upon himself to decide.
And how many station car parks are staffed?

Richard said...

Most train journeys are planned. Disabled users ring up the day before, reserve a space. Easy enough surely?

Anonymous said...

OK, so why not make non-disabled users ring up the day before and book a space as well- simple enough surely?
Or do you think that disabled people's lives are not more difficult than other people's enough yet, so you want to give just them another 'handicap' by applying more stringent conditions to use a station car park than everyone else?
I'm pleased to say that that would now be illegal.

Richard. said...

All I am trying to do, Mr Anonymous, is to explore a way to avoid the current situation, which is that many disabled spaces stay unused all day. Some suggestions, firstly measure the demand for such spaces - don't apply a formula. This can be done to some accuracy since most station users will be commuters. Allocate disabled spaces on the basis of that demand, perhaps on a 'personal' reserved basis. Add a few extra for occasional use. If you are an occasional disabled user ask for a space to be reserved for you if you do not wish to take a chance on finding a space. I cannot accept that ringing up to reserve a space is a 'handicap'. It would not be available to any other user.