IPSWICH drivers who believe it’s okay to pull into disability car parking spaces without a permit are in the firing line of feisty 93-year-old Mary Anderson.
Mary reached out to this paper last week as part of a campaign which saw her write letters to the mayor asking for parking inspectors to visit her local
Silkstone Shopping Centre and book the culprits. Unfortunately for the Elim Village resident council wrote back to say their vigilant inspectors had no authority over private shopping centre carparks.
Mary can probably lay claim to being the fittest and most active 93-yearold in Ipswich.
She still drives and proudly lives independently requiring no assistance from any support organisation.
She does limit her driving these days and usually it’s only to pop up to the shops to get some fresh food or to go and visit friends at Rosewood.
She admits she has slowed down a little over the past years, but dismisses using a walker because “once you start using one you will become dependent on it”.
The issue regarding disability parking spaces came into focus for Mary just before Christmas.
“I unfortunately had a health issue which put me in Ipswich’s Mater Hospital for nearly a month and I needed to restock the fridge on my return home,” she said.
“I was still a little frail and when I went up to the Silkstone shops I discovered all the close by disability parking spaces had been taken which meant I had to park a long way from the Coles’ entrance.
“I found a trolley to help me get to the shop and as I went past the disability spaces noticed that none of the cars had passes displayed.
“While I am back to my better level of fitness and can park elsewhere, I am fighting for those who really need these spaces.”
She is hoping that Silkstone Shopping Centre and others will start policing the illegal parking and fine drivers abusing the system, but that has no chance of happening.
According to the shopping centres contacted the issue is a widespread problem and they say they are always receiving complaints about drivers who believe it’s their right to park anywhere they want.
Mary’s answer is for better signage on the special parking bays and for the shopping centres to at least start putting red notices under the windscreen wipers of the cars illegally parked.