A one-armed man been refused a disabled parking permit – after being told he needed to lose ANOTHER limb to qualify.
Roy Sowerby, from Middlesbrough, is registered disabled after he lost his arm when it was crushed in an industrial accident 11 years ago.
And Mr Sowerby, 58, has had the Blue Badge permit for his car for the last three years. But when he went to renew it this year, he was told he could not have one.
The dad-of-five, who drives an automatic car, told the Evening Gazette : “I’d like the council to tell me how I am not disabled.”
“They said if I lost another arm or a leg then I would qualify for one.
“So do I have to cut off my legs or my arm or my head to qualify for one? They said I can’t have one because I can carry a bag but I can’t carry anything bulky or heavy or big.”
He said wielding a shopping trolley was a challenge and he needed to park close to the supermarket to make it easier.
Middlesbrough Council said Mr Sowerby is no longer eligible under new rules drawn up in 2012 by the Department for Transport (DfT).
The authority said Blue Badges are issued for three years and, under current rules, applications for the discretionary permits are “required to undergo independent assessment to determine their eligibility”.
“Those applying for a discretionary Blue Badge must have a severe disability in both arms or a permanent and substantial disability that causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking,” a spokesman for the council said.
“The criteria for eligibility in the first instance are that the applicant has a severe disability in both arms, regularly drives an adapted or non-adapted motor vehicle regularly, and also considerable difficulty in operating parking meters.
“To qualify for a Blue Badge all three criteria must be met. The DfT state that ‘in no circumstances should anyone who does not satisfy all three of the conditions set out above receive a badge’.
“The guidance adds that ‘in particular, a badge should not be issued to a person who travels solely as a passenger or a person who has difficulty carrying parcels, shopping or other heavy objects such as luggage’.”