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'Shocking misuse' of mobility parks

MEDIA RELEASE

28 August 2006

'Shocking misuse' of mobility parks

Half of all cars parked in mobility parks were parked there illegally, according to a recent survey.

"This is a shocking misuse of mobility parks and we should be truly ashamed. New Zealand's rate of the misuse of mobility parks is twice that of the UK. It's an indication of how our society views disabled and elderly people, either consciously or unconsciously," said Peter Wilson, CCS Mobility Parking Manager.

In July, CCS, the disability support and advocacy group, launched the 'Caught' campaign. The campaign aimed to reduce misuse of mobility parks and highlighted that 80,000 New Zealanders use these parks to access their communities.

Prior to the campaign, CCS conducted research to assess the level of misuse of mobility parks, and to what extent the campaign influenced members of the public. A selection of car parks were observed in June, and again, in mid August. The research included observations of mobility parks in cities, smaller towns, and supermarket car parks. The misuse of parks was just as likely in all locations.

The following are based on observations made in relation to 505 vehicles and drivers from the June research:

· 50% of vehicles were parked in mobility parks illegally

· of those vehicles, 50% were there for less than five minutes and 4% of those were issued with a parking ticket

· almost half of the drivers appeared to be under 40 years of age and were just as likely to be male as they were to be female

· of those illegally parked cars, 11% were trade or business vehicles.

"CCS administers the Mobility Parking Permit Scheme that allows permit holders access to mobility parks. One of the big issues CCS needs the general public to understand is how mobility parks go a long way towards helping permit holders get on with their day," said Peter Wilson.

"It seems that the old 'I'm only going to be a few minutes' is true, but it doesn't matter. Those few minutes make a huge difference when it's the only park a person can use. And when you've had your few minutes someone else has theirs. Authorities in New South Wales in Australia have recently increased fines for people who misuse mobility parks. Maybe this is something we need to be looking at in New Zealand," he said.

ENDS


CCS Background Information

CCS exists to make a difference for disabled people, their families and whanau by removing barriers to inclusion and by offering support to disabled people to access all ordinary opportunities in their communities. Our community is made up of disabled people and their families and whanau, who live in Aotearoa New Zealand. We include all people who face barriers to inclusion on the basis of disability and who want to access the disability support services we provide.

Reflecting the commitment in the New Zealand Disability Strategy - Making A World of Difference Whakanui Oranga [Minister for Disability Issues April 2001], a key expectation of CCS work is that the New Zealand community grows its capacity to ensure that disabled people have the same rights, choices, opportunities and safeguards as other citizens.

CCS operates with a National Office and regional management structure, providing services nationally from 16 incorporated societies. We deliver regular services to over 6,000 people with disabilities making us one of the largest disability support service providers in New Zealand. CCS works closely with other disability agencies to ensure we make best use of shared knowledge and resources, helping us to adopt best practice across the sector.


Mobility Parking Permit Scheme Information

For further information on the Mobility Parking Permit scheme visit:

www.ccs.org.nz/mobility.php

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