Elderly woman finds disabled Melton parking spaces blocked by travellers’ caravans

Travellers in the Burton Street car park in Melton in June 2015'PHOTO: Tim Williams EMN-150925-170249001
Travellers in the Burton Street car park in Melton in June 2015'PHOTO: Tim Williams EMN-150925-170249001
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An 87-year-old woman with impaired mobility was unable to park in a disabled space in a Melton car park because travellers had parked caravans on the only ones available.

The pensioner, who lives in Melton but who declined to be named, had the problem in the Burton Street car park during a shopping trip this morning (Friday).

She faced a much further journey into town with her walking frame after eventually having to park in a free space furthest away from the town centre on the far side of the car park.

She said: “I usually have no trouble parking in the disabled spaces down there but this morning the ones which were left had these big long caravans on and they take up five spaces each.

“It was a much further walk for me and it is not easy with a walking frame.

“For anyone more disabled than me - people who use wheelchairs, for example - it would have been more difficult for them.”

This is the third time this year travellers have parked carvans on the Burton Street car park - this time there are three large caravans and three transit vans.

Melton Council said it was aware of the issue there again and was hopeful the families would soon move on as the other travellers have done there before.

David Blanchard, the authority’s corporate property officer, said: “I met them on site at 7.30am this morning, took vehicle details and advised them to purchase tickets for their vehicles.

“We have monitored the position all day and expect them to leave on Sunday or Monday morning.

“Mat Bagley, from the Multi Agency Travellers Unit, and Sgt Adam Wardle, the police liaison officer, also visited them together this afternoon and are familiar with this group.

“The agencies have not had to take any formal action previously, with the families leaving when they said they would.”

He said that it was difficult to prevent the travellers setting up temporary camp on the Burton Street site.

Mr Blanchard added: “We are reviewing options. However, as this is a public pay and display car parks and used by local trade vehicles and waste collection vehicles height barriers, for example, would not provide a solution.”