Residents left out by lack of disabled parking

WHILE the majority of the community got involved in the town’s jubilee celebrations one frustrated resident said he had to head back home because there was no disabled parking available.

Seaford resident David Tucknott was hoping to join thousands of other residents to enjoy the fun on Martello Fields but said several road closures meant he could not get close enough to park.

The 49-year-old and his 80-year-old mother, who also lives in Seaford, cannot walk far and both using walking aids.

He said, “We went down there after the parade around midday by car. We were turned away at each of the road closures signs, every road approaching Martello Fields had a road closure sign.

“Neither of us could have walked from where we would have been able to park the car.”

The disappointed pair headed home instead to watch the national event unfold on the TV.

Mr Tucknott, who says he has been to events on the field before without a problem, says the nearest area he could have parked to the venue was about half a mile away.

He added, “It was a once in a lifetime thing, particularly for my mother who is in her 80s. OK we saw pieces on the TV but it’s not the same as being there as part of it.

“There was no signs indicating disabled access whatsoever.”

However, Seaford town clerk Sam Shippen, said although the seafront area was closed off provision had been made for disabled drivers and any disabled passengers.

She said, “We made provision at all the road closures and the marshals were aware of this.

“Because we had limited space we couldn’t use the seafront, we made a risk assessment that said the seafront should close. In the past when we’ve held events and it’s become quite dangerous around the site.

“Because this was a big event we made road management provision. We had provision for disabled parking on the pump house.

“If a disabled person was in a car we allowed drop offs and pick ups.

“There were thousands of people there all day and we needed to keep an area free for the parade and because of the laser show later on.

“We made the decision jointly with the police and all the marshals were aware of the facilities and lots of people came through who were disabled.

“We’ve received emails from residents living near the field who have thanked us for the traffic management we had in place.”

In response Mr Tucknott said he was in queuing traffic and signs should have been up to advised disabled drivers to speak to marshals.