Mobility parking stoush

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A disability rights campaigner is demanding action over a council worker she says is using a Queenstown CBD mobility carpark as a personal spot.

Wakatipu Access Group member Anna Jameson has written to councillors and council staff to complain about the issue, which she says is impacting the ability of patients to easily access nearby medical facilities.

It’s not that the person isn’t allowed to park there – they do have a mobility permit, Jameson says.

It’s that they’re allegedly using the park all day, five days a week, for free.

“I am deeply frustrated that the council cannot support one of their disabled staff members find suitable parking so she does not have to use the public mobility parks to park her vehicle while she goes to work for the council.

“The Beach Street mobility park has been effectively out of action since April this year as it has been occupied most days from 8.30am to 5.30pm.”

The park is directly out-side the entrance to Mountain Lakes Medical, where Jameson works.

“On Friday, a very sick patient with respiratory distress who could barely walk would have benefited from that park except the council staff member was using it,” she says.

Mayor Jim Boult confirms he’s received the letter, and says he’s asked council staff for a report on the issue. Boult confirms the staff member in question does have a disability.

Jameson says she’s raised the issue with various council staffers, and has been told they can’t do anything.

“The council need to allow other disabled people access to this carpark or rename it ‘For Council Staff Only’ and put another in Beach St.”

It follows concerns raised by Jameson about businesses parking in mobility carparks around the district.

Council transport strategy boss Tony Pickard previously said increasing the number of mobility spaces would be considered as part of a parking strategy.

That’s expected to be completed by the end of the year.

daisy.hudson@scene.co.nz