Certain neighbours in a Brislington street have been branded ‘vicious’ and ‘small minded’ following a row over a disabled parking space.
The argument began on Sunday (June 28) when a resident living in Churchill Road posted a picture of a disabled parking space and angrily questioned whether its owner was actually disabled, falsely claiming the man in question came from a ‘very able household’.
The person ended his Facebook rant, which has since been deleted, by complaining about the number of disabled parking spaces on their road and commenting ‘let’s see if a disabled is moving in’.
Many people were quick to point out that not all disabilities are visible, with one relative saying the disabled neighbour has often been unfairly confronted and made to feel like ‘hate figures’ in the past.
The initial post read: “Can someone please explain to me if the Council that grants a disabled space check if there’s genuine need??!
“This one here belongs to a very able household members young and healthy. The man washes his cars regular his wife is seen in high heels! No elderly living!
“My road has now got more than 7 disabled spaces and it is not genuine as I lived long enough to witness it!
“It is not fair on the rest of us! Now this house opposite has been sold! Let’s see if a disabled is moving in!!?”
Kay Brooks Vale, a relative of the disabled man referred to in the post, was quick to set the record straight after the post attracted dozens of comments criticising the poster’s attitude.
She said: “With reference to an earlier post, I just want to put your minds at rest. Yes the council do check to see if there is a blue badge holder within the premises.
“The gentleman that the disabled bay has several disabilities which, because of the fact that he does not go around in a wheelchair, people assume he does not have.
“I can assure you that he is in daily pain, struggles with walking distances, which varies on a daily basis and goes in for operations routinely etc.
“However unlike most he does not rely on the state to pay for him. He still goes to work regardless of the agony that he is in.
“One of the reasons why the house has been put up for sale is because of the small minded, incapable drivers of the street. There is no sense of community in this road whatsoever!
“I think you all need to open your eyes and be a bit kinder! Also perhaps you need to educate yourself in the fact that not all disabilities are visible.”
Speaking to Bristol Live, Ms Vale said this isn’t the first time the man in question has faced prejudice and been confronted over his disability.
She said: “Some neighbours in the street are vicious in their comments and have actually questioned why he should have a disabled parking bay, with both his wife and daughter being confronted and questioned in the past.
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“It’s got to the point where they feel as a family that it is an us and them situation. Where they feel as if they are hate figures within the street.
“I felt that I needed to put the record straight as it angers and saddens me the reactions of people that especially at their age should know better.
“It truly does astound me that in 2020 there are still people with such a closed view of the world, who unfortunately feel the need to voice their uneducated opinions. Ignorance and intolerance should not have a place in our world.”
She added the man and his family are thankful for all of the support that has been shown and are ‘now very much looking forward to moving away from the street’.