Car left in disabled bay blocks elderly Ilford woman in home

David and Shirley Miller are angered by a car being left abandoned in the disabled parking bay outsi

David and Shirley Miller are angered by a car being left abandoned in the disabled parking bay outside their house on Exeter Gardens Ilford - Credit: Archant

An elderly disabled woman was blocked in her house for almost a week, after a car was abandoned in her disabled parking bay.

Shirley Miller, who has to use crutches to walk, found a black Fiat had been left in the spot, clearly marked “disabled”, in Exeter Gardens, Ilford, on Thursday.

Despite contacting Redbridge Council on the same day, husband David was informed they could not move the vehicle as “the disabled bay in question is an advisory bay”.

This meant the council could not tow the car – despite it remaining in the space until Tuesday night – making it difficult for Shirley to leave the house.

Mr Miller spoke of how the hatchback first appeared.

“A man sat in the car for an hour, then cleared it out – getting everything out of it – and walked up the road,” he said.

Mr Miller observed this on CCTV and shared the footage with the Recorder.

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He said he is frustrated that the council could not move the Fiat.

“They said it had got an MOT and road tax so they could not move it – they didn’t seem very interested.

“I’m not very happy about it – they are the ones who offer you the bay and now they don’t want anything to do with it.”

Mr Miller explained this left Shirley, who like him is in her 70s, in a very difficult situation.

He said: “She has major back problems and cannot walk without crutches.

“I cannot park outside to pick her up.”

The council spokesman explained advisory bays “are put in place in the borough to help those with health problems affecting their mobility”.

He added: “As they are advisory, they are not enforceable though we are pleased to say that motorists generally respect them and complaints about their misuse are rare.”

“We share the resident’s disappointment that motorists would be thoughtless enough to use the bay when they know they have been installed for disabled residents.”

Mr Miller finally caught the man at the car late on Tuesday night.

The driver claimed the car was broken and he could not find a garage open to move it.

The insurance company came to tow the car away, freeing the space.

Mr Miller added: “If a note had been left on the car, all the problems would not have occurred.”