Disabled woman fined £1,000 for using disabled car parking

A disabled woman faces fines of more than £1,000 for using a disabled car parking space outside her flat.

Cerys Gemma, who lives in Cardiff Bay, said the space allocated to her flat is inaccessible for her.

Instead, she has been using one of the parking spaces reserved for visitors with disabilities.

New Generation Parking Management, which manages the bays said the spaces have to be kept free for disabled visitors, not residents.

34-year-old Ms Gemma, said she cannot use the space allocated to her waterside flat in Prospect Place.

She explained that there is a pillar on one side, and another car parking space close on the other side.

Ms Gemma said she had been in contact with the property management and parking companies, trying to explain why she needed to use a wheelchair accessible space.

“This has plagued me for two years and I just can’t go on like this.

“I’m at breaking point and I’ve had conversations with people, and I’ve said this is the end, because I can’t do this anymore – something has to change.

“I’m not willing to be pushed out of my home because I’m in a wheelchair,” she said.

Ms Gemma has now been ordered to pay the fines by the County Court.

Cerys Gemma has been using a wheelchair since sustaining serious spinal injuries following a car accident when she was 17.

She said the situation with the fines was now “desperate” and she is seeing a counsellor.

“It’s hard enough anyway, and I try and be as graceful and patient with people who don’t have accessible buildings, and I understand that it’s hard, but I’m not being pushed out of my home because of a parking space when they’ve got eight accessible bays,” she added.