A DISABLED man who claims he has been left housebound due to ‘ridiculous’ parking rules on his street is calling for change.
Portsmouth resident James Jewitt no longer uses his mobility car for fear that the disabled bay outside his house on Hawke Street – that he requested – will be taken by other disabled drivers.
This has left him feeling unable to attend hospital appointments or venture outside.
Due to chronic asthma, diabetes and a history of heart problems, the 59-year-old cannot park too far from his home.
However, he says there are rarely any spaces on his road and his only other option is to park on double yellow lines.
Mr Jewitt said: 'It's impossible trying to park around here. I pay £30 a year for a JA zone permit just in case the disabled bay is full but I can never find spaces close enough to my home. Why am I paying when I can't even park near my home?
'The whole reason I requested the disabled bay and went through the medical checks to prove I needed one was so I could still get out and about.
'But it's just getting ridiculous now, the space is always filled by people with blue badges and a lot of the time it's not disabled people who park there but their relatives borrowing their badge.
‘They're just using them as a way to gain free parking.'
Mr Jewitt believed the space, which was implemented in 2015, should be reserved for disabled JA permit holders only rather than those with just blue badges in the hope it would reduce fraud and deter casual visitors.
He added: 'I have to make a decision as to whether I give my car up and become totally housebound or leave my car there and pay for a hire car or taxi when I have to go somewhere.
'The council should change the signage on the bay to specify that only disabled people with JA permits can park there. This would solve all my problems because the people using the space don't live near me.'
But it is Portsmouth City Council policy that disabled parking spaces in the city can be used by any blue badge holders. Denise Bastow, council parking officer, said: 'Disabled bays on residential roads can be used by any blue badge holder, they're not exclusive to residents in that street.
'This ensures the maximum use can be made of each parking place which would otherwise lie empty whenever residents were away.
'Blue badge holders can also park where residents parking restrictions apply without needing a residents’ parking permit, as long as they display their blue badge.'
If another resident on Hawke Street requires a disabled space they could apply to the council for one but it would not be exclusive to them.’