A few days ago, I went with my partner to La Marina Shopping Mall. She is confined to a wheelchair since May 2016 following a complicated femur fracture despite five operations. She now has one leg shorter than the other.
Generally, we go there once per week to the hairdresser, and as a matter of course, because a wheelchair necessitates extra space, we park in one of the disabled bays, of which there are many. I must stress that we never park in such bays in public streets.
My partner has applied for a ‘Disabled badge’, but the process, according to the Social Security staff, will take approximately fourteen months before a decision can be made as to whether a badge will be granted.
On the last occasion as we exited the lift, and approached the vehicle, we were confronted by an official of La Marina (not a security officer) who, despite being shown the wheelchair and its occupant, together with an explanatory card placed in the windscreen, stated that he intended to call the police to have them give us a ‘sanción’ . We are now apprehensive about our next visit.
We are between a ‘rock and a hard place’. She is disabled; we have a long wait for a badge, yet we need the extra space both on arrival and departure. Clearly, there is a need for something to assist ‘pro tem’. I am thinking that perhaps on application to La Marina, there might be some type of interim pass for application upon each visit…
The La Marina official, I would add, was neither abusive, nor in any way obnoxious; he merely had no discretion, whether personally or administratively. There were, in fact, less than ten percent of the disabled bays occupied at the time; and they are numerous in that car park.
My query, therefore, is when on private property, are we in breach of the law, should we park in a disabled bay? Not only here, but for example, in hospital underground car parks, Mas y Mas, Lidl, Mercadona, etc, and attract a hefty fine. I doubt whether we are alone in this dilemma.
Finally, I do hope that ‘Smart Alec’ advice is restrained.
I have forwarded a copy of this letter to Customer Services at La Marina Ondara.