Shoppers pinching disabled parks

DISABLED shoppers hunting for parking spots in Warwick's CBD are becoming frustrated as those without permits are taking up their vital spaces illegally.

Heather Thompson has relied on the disabled parking scheme for years since her leg operation.

"The spaces mean there's plenty of room and you're not banging the other cars trying to get out, as well as making it easier to access the shops," Mrs Thompson said.

"With more available spaces, it would be so much easier. It's also important that the spaces are managed so if people are doing the wrong thing - something can be done about it.

"Just the other day I saw drivers in the spaces who didn't have permits. It would be really disappointing if they're just being lazy."

Daughter Lyn Francisco said the lack of spaces available could be a real deterrent to bring shoppers to town.

"We come all the way into town but end up driving around and around for a car park," she said.

"If we can't get a park we just won't bother next time."

Council and police are responsible for issuing infringement notices for the misuse of parking bays.

A Southern Downs Regional Council spokeswoman said there was one part-time council officer responsible for doing random parking patrols.

She said it was fairly prevalent for people to park in disabled spaces without a permit in the Warwick CBD.

"Holders of disabled parking permits are issued the permits because they have difficulties in accessing facilities so these car parks are strategically located to assist," the spokeswoman said.

Four fines for this offence have been issued in the last 12 months to the value of $100 each.

In the past year, the most common parking fine dealt was for exceeding time limits with 279 fines issued in the Warwick CBD alone.

"Without parking patrols we found that some workers in shops in the CBD park in front of some businesses all day long," the spokeswoman said.

What do you think? Email editor@warwickdailynews.com.au



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