ROYAL Mail has come under fire after one of its drivers parked in a disabled bay – when there were other available spaces nearby.
The Royal Mail van was photographed in a disabled bay at Purbrook Chase precinct, off Crookhorn Lane, Crookhorn.
The picture was taken by a Crookhorn resident who was shocked to see the van reverse into the space and the postman walk into the nearby Co-op, which contains a post office.
The 41-year-old, who did not want to be named, was angry as his wife is disabled with fibromyalgia and relies on disabled spaces.
The man said: ‘At the time I was just waiting at the bus stop. The Royal Mail man just turned up and reversed into the disabled space and went into the post office.
‘There were two or three spaces to the left that he could have parked in. I waited about five minutes for my bus and he was still there.’
Three years ago the same scenario was reported in The News when a resident, Andrew Bundy, said he had seen Royal Mail vans regularly parking in the disabled bay.
At the time Royal Mail officials said it was ‘unacceptable’ for employees to park in disabled bays.
The man added: ‘I thought they would have learned their lesson by now, but obviously not.
‘It just seems a joke because if someone is severely disabled and turned up they would have to walk further.’
By law, it is offence to park in an on-street disabled space without a valid blue badge, unless there is a ‘reasonable excuse’. If taken to court, it can carry a maximum fine of £1,000.
However, it is understood the precinct is privately owned and it is not an offence to misuse a disabled bay on private land.
Spokeswoman Val Bodden said: ‘Royal Mail always advises our drivers to park safely and responsibly while collecting or delivering mail and we will repeat this message to our drivers. On this occasion, the driver was in and out of the premises in Crookhorn in a short time frame, collecting mail from the post office within the store.’