Friday, 27 November 2015

Parking: Access Success.

I love my blue badge.

It means I get to park in spaces that allow me to get in to and out of my car easily, and which are within a relatively safe wheeling distance of my destination.
Image result for disabled parking images


Until you realise your badge is in Birmingham, you are in Didcot, and you need it to park at Oxford Station the next morning.


The rules are clear. No badge = no right to park in the blue badge bays.

But even the nearest standard spaces at Oxford Station were outside of my realistic outdoors wheeling distances.

Taxi wasn't an option.


I called the assisted travel line (where you book train assistance, ramps onto the trains etc). They gave me the number of the company who manage the station carpark - APCOA.

Well, parking companies in general don't get good press. Their reputation is for giving fines wherever  they can. I wasn't holding my breath.

I called them, and explained my situation and asked if there was any way I could get permission to park in a blue badge space without displaying the blue badge. The lady on the phone was very helpful, and said she'd email the manager for that carpark and get back to me.

I wasn't holding my breath, but sure enough, within an hour she'd called back with permission, and a code to display on my dashboard! Obviously they couldn't guarantee that a space would be available, but if there was, I could use it - giving me the same chance of a successful journey that my blue badge would.

It made the whole day doable.

So thank you APCOA. You made my day possible, and you did so without even a hint of annoyance at the effort you had to put in to do so.


  1. Blimey, that is positive! Hurrah for good people

    Unlike the ones at my rail station, which has 3 disabled spaces, which are always full up in the mornings, when I said they should put more in they essentially said not their problem. So helpful!

  2. With the old tax discs, and now if they. Take the time to check, it will. Come up that the car is disabled, mobility car, or the tax is nil ( no payment because of disabled ) so even without your badge you had a right to park, now you have to pay for a badge, but they should still know its disabled and. It has a right to park, and the person who has left the car is disabled

    1. Actually, unless the rules of the carpark state that vehicles with 'disabled' tax class are allowed to park in the disabled parking bays, then you still need a blue badge. All my local carparks require a badge, and without the badge you may get a fine. This is because a tax exempt car has to be used for the disabled person, but doesn't have to be used by them - for example, my brother could legally use my car to do my shopping, but he would not be allowed to park in a disabled bay. I have heard that in some places there are local rules that allow parking based on car tax exemption, so if you live in one of those areas, cool! - but be aware that they don't apply everywhere and parking without a blue badge could earn you a fine.


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