Thursday 3 April 2014

social mobility, where art thou?

So the ongoing saga of 'Steve Getting to Work' has taken a new turn recently.

I've continued to walk in occasionally but sometimes it's just not going to happen (we all have those days) so I'll take my car and park across the road for my designated 3 (and a bit...) hours.Then I'll nip out for lunch, come back and park for the afternoon.

This can be particularly useful on days when I have meetings around the city - it's bad enough going to meetings without worrying about being a stumbling, sweaty mess (or worse) when I get there.

The sign at the top of this post appeared in all Derby city council-run car parks at the start of March. I've known this was coming for a while, from about the time that I had to pay for my three-year Blue Disabled Persons Parking badge - £10 for free parking is a pretty good deal.

But no more.

I called the number which trumpeted 'discounted season tickets' - and it isn't even a season ticket.

It's a (free) card which you can flash at the ticket machine which gets you 20% off your parking.

(Annoyingly to get this, you need to take your current Blue Badge to a different car park, which has never offered free parking for disabled drivers - or you could display your Blue Badge and park in the disabled bay across the road - but then you need to take in your Blue Badge to get the discount card... )

Okay here comes the Maths:
  • A regular 12-month season ticket for my chosen car park is £830.
  • The all-day parking charge is set to rise to £7.10 - with my 20% discount, this would mean a daily cost of £5.68
  • Daily charge times five-days a week for 48 weeks(ish) makes a rough annual cost of £1,363.20
So obviously a regular season ticket is a good deal.

But why advertise discounted season tickets when they don't exist?

I've always had a problem with people who view Accessible Car Parking schemes as some kind of perk which we are lucky to enjoy (some visitors may remember this from a closed-group on LinkedIn a while back).

As I wrote on the blog earlier this year;
I think of [Accessible Parking] more as a LEVELLING OF THE PLAYING FIELD.

For example, if somebody without a health condition like MS wants to go shopping, and they live close to the city centre (as I do), they have a couple of transport options – they can drive or walk in. If I tried to walk to the shops, I’d be exhausted before I’d even begun to start complaining about having to go shopping.
My Blue Badge is still a total life-saver and I can still park on the street at various places around Derby - but walking in to work is going to have to be the favoured option while we're still living in the city.

Has anyone reading this had a similar situation where they are?


  1. Thankfully, no, but I feel your pain. Last summer, it was SO DAMN HOT that I asked my doctor for a placard I could hang on my car for those days when traversing a black-paved parking lot would leave me a sweaty, exhausted mess...and he said no. Apparently, I'm not bad off enough. So, ummmm, great? I guess? Anyway, good luck with the walking.

  2. Oh, and your fans are still clamoring for More Tales of the Hideous Neighbors...

  3. that post is written, just need to re-read to check it's not going TOO FAR...

  4. and hilariously i just realised that i didn't bat an eyelid at the mention of my "fans"! oh, the ego...

    on a similar tip, one of my old bands had a review where i was referred to as Steve "The Magic Man" Woodward - a friend of mine called me up and said (as a joke) "Is that The Magic Man?" to which I replied in all seriousness, "Yes"

    IN SHORT: i have some issues that i need to work through

  5. No such thing as "too far"! Now your LEGIONS OF FANS are clamoring even MORE vehemently.

    Your story of "Magic Man" (HAHAHA) reminded me of being a wee lass (apparently I was an egomaniac at the tender age of 9) and hearing some friends shouting from the playground: "Ms. CrankyPants thinks she is [there was a calculated pause in the song here] -- WONDER WOMAN!" Except I wasn't "Ms. CrankyPants" then. But you see what I mean.