I CAME across two stories about disabled parking recently, both of which left me slightly disturbed.

The first was in the Northwich Guardian and related to the Memorial Hall car park, the second was a letter in a local newspaper in Trafford from a very upset disabled driver who had her honesty and integrity called into question by another alleged disabled driver.

It seems counter-intuitive that disabled parking bays on the Memorial Hall car park have a four-hour maximum stay while non-disabled spaces on the same car park have no such conditions.

Yet the extravagantly-named Chester West and Cheshire Council sees no discrimination in this.

The logic, apparently, is that by putting a time limit on the wider disabled bays, it ensures there is sufficient turnover for those who need the extra room afforded by those bays.

And, according to the CWAC spokesman, if disabled drivers think they need to park for longer, they can always use the ordinary, non-disabled bays.

This seems something of a self-defeating argument.

Surely, if you are disabled, you need to use a disabled bay to park your car, and who is the council to say whether or not you actually need the wider bay?

And if the current provision of disabled bays is so meagre that the council has to force people to vacate them after four hours, wouldn’t it be better to provide more disabled parking?

Who decides this?

Is there some kind of formula to work out a percentage of disabled parking spaces per ‘normal’ parking spaces?

We need to know and it would be great if the parking guru at County Hall could let us know.

Even more upsetting is the sad tale of a driver in Trafford who suffers from a rare illness that affects her internal organs.

It is so rare, there is only one hospital in the whole country that can treat her.

The condition is very serious indeed.

It is life-limiting, yet outwardly, she looks fine.

Having parked in a disabled bay at a supermarket, she returned to her car to find a note on her windscreen from a ‘Proper Disabled Driver’ who had judged – by appearance only – that she didn’t need a disabled blue badge or the use of the disabled parking space.

The mystery letter writer was so incensed by what he thought to be a flagrant misuse of the blue badge, his letter said he had taken a note of its number and would be reporting her to the appropriate authorities.

I can’t begin to imagine how that poor woman feels.

Not only does she have to carry the burden of having a serious, probably fatal, illness, she also has to contend with such small-minded ignorance and pettiness from someone who should know better.

I find it really disturbing that we have people like this living among us.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that disabled parking spaces are sometimes abused by those who should know better.

The absence of a blue badge is a bit of a giveaway and on occasion, I have been known to voice my disgust to these people.

And yes, sometimes, you do see a blue badge holder using a disabled parking space and yet they have no outward appearance of needing such a space.

Maybe I am too trusting, maybe I’m too naive, but I am prepared to accept that there is a rigorous process that has to be gone through before blue badges are issued and that should be proof enough for anyone.

But then again, there’s no accounting for the small-minded, thoughtless people among us who are prepared to rush to judge others without knowing the facts.

While I’m on the subject of parking spaces, I personally witnessed yet another example of the perversity of supermarket ‘mother and child’ spaces when I was at a Northwich supermarket last week.

If we have to have these spaces – and I accept having wider bays to allow for the easy removal of pushchairs – I still don’t see why they have to be close to the entrance.

Anyway, after struggling to find a spot to park, I eventually squeezed my Astra in next to a trolley bay.

As I was walking up to the shop entrance, a Range Rover pulled into a mother and child bay.

Out leapt a 40-something yummy mummy and two teenage children.

Now that’s what I call abusing a parking privilege.