Skip left across disabled bays at Dalton Park shopping centre

Photo of a skip taken by Eric Francis on Friday, September 4, at Dalton Park in Murton.
Photo of a skip taken by Eric Francis on Friday, September 4, at Dalton Park in Murton.
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Retail bosses have apologised after a waste skip was left straddling two disabled parking bays at an east Durham shopping centre.

On a visit to Dalton Park in Murton, Eric Francis was left shocked after seeing the Biffa waste management container left across two separate bays while improvement works were carried out.

This skip was placed across two bays and they should’ve used somewhere else.

Eric Francis

He took a snap of the skip and immediately contacted shopping centre bosses on Friday, September 4.

Bosses at Dalton Park today apologised and said action is being taken to move the skip.

Registered disabled Mr Francis, who suffers from chronic osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, heart problems and diabetes among other conditions, has previously contacted the Echo after seeing a skip placed over bays in the car park at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

“I’m a member of a disability group on the internet so I thought it was worth getting a picture of,” said the 58-year-old, of Chilton Moor, in Houghton.

“The car park was getting full at the time and although there are a lot of bays there, people abuse them.

“This skip was placed across two bays and they should’ve used somewhere else.

“People around the country are fed up of this happening.

“Nobody seems to monitor it so we do it ourselves so that we can highlight it.

“I know it’s on private land but people who need these bays should be looked after.

“You don’t have to be in a wheelchair to be classed as disabled.”

Dalton Park centre manager Jerry Hatch said: “As a shopping centre with 1,200 parking bays we are required to provide 4% of our spaces to be designated for disabled drivers.

“Our current provision is at 5.1%, which totals 43 spaces, nine more than the requirement states.

“However, we do welcome feedback from our customers and have listened to the concerns recently raised.

“In conclusion we will be moving a skip which has taken up two accessible bays before the centre re-opens tomorrow.

“This will take our provision back to 5.3%, 11 spaces over the advised requirement.

“We hope that our customers can appreciate that we do take our responsibilities to visitors who require accessible bays seriously by consistently providing more accessible bays than are required, however we would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience caused.”