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Thread: Local authority swimming pool - should it, by law, have disabled parking spaces?

  1. #1
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    Local authority swimming pool - should it, by law, have disabled parking spaces?

    Was wondering if someone could assist here.

    I go to the local council swimming pool and leisure centre - up until 2008 it was run completely by the council but since then it has been run by a Sports and Leisure Trust Ltd on behalf of the council.

    My question is - should it by law have disabled parking? There used to be such spaces there however the markings have now faded so much that you cannot tell what is a normal space and what isn't. Consequently, people just park anywhere. The building itself, despite being quite old, is otherwise great for disabled access.

    I'm not usually one to moan about such things but for me, getting my wheelchair in and out of the car is quite difficult unless I have the luxury of the larger disabled space so I emailed the group who run these centres last February and they replied assuring me that my comments would be passed on and action would be taken.

    But 12 months on it's still the same.

    I have emailed yet again but if nothing is done about it would it be worthwhile contacting the council about this and if so which specific department should I contact.

    Thanks in advance for any advice offered.

  2. #2
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    I'm sure Flymo will fully advise but I'm not sure the law stipulates the number of disabled parking spaces which should be available. There are national guidelines but these are just guidelines.

    I had a fight with my local council regarding the number of spaces where I work. The public car park next to my building has no spaces, and the number in the local area where about half the national guidelines. Of course the Council refused to improve the number.

    However, I would try contacting the Council, the Highways department perhaps, as you never know.
    Last edited by vantage; 10-03-14 at 21:28.
    No single thing can define me; not my work, not my politics, not my hobbies, not my vices and not my disability. I'm way more complex than that!

  3. #3
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    Please forgive this somewhat outline answer. I'm under time and energy pressure at the moment.


    The service provider has a duty under section 29(7)(a) Equality Act 2010 to provide reasonable adjustments for disabled users of its services. This is an anticipatory duty - they must make provision for foreseeable needs, such as the parking needs of the mobility impaired.

    I checked BS 8300:2009 (with Amendment 1 2010 incorporated), which is the current version of the code of practice of the design of buildings for the needs of disabled people. The general recommendation for leisure facilities (clause 4.2.1.3) is one space for each disabled employee, plus 6% disabled spaces and a further 4% "enlarged standard spaces" (pretty much disabled spaces without the designation). However, the specific recommendation for sports facilities (clause 4.2.1.6) is that the provision "should be determined according to the usage of the sports facility". The standard points to Sport England guidance on the matter.


    In this case, it sounds like the dispute is not over the number of spaces, but that the markings of the existing provision have faded to the point that the designated bays are not obeyed.

    The first step is to establish who is responsible for the car park, as it might not be the centre operator. Once that has been established, it is a case of reminding the car park operator of their Equality Act 2010 duty and pointing out that you, or anyone else with mobility impairments, has the right to take action against them in respect of their failure to make the necessary provision.

    If the car park operator does not respond to this semi-formal approach, I would follow up with a written request that they make reasonable adjustments by remarking the car park. It is also worth reading the guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

  4. #4
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    Thank you for the responses.

  5. #5
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    Well I found an email address for the council 'access officer' so emailed him a couple of weeks ago and received a very quick and positive reply stating he would look into it. Then yesterday received a further email saying that the work has been booked in and will be completed in 2 weeks time.

  6. #6
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    That sounds hopeful. Sometimes it is just a case of pointing out the problem to the relevant person.

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