Show Time! A celebration of Youth Forum experiences and achievements is on Thursday at 17:45 -Well I’m leaving here at 5.15pm and I’m soon joining the tumultuous traffic (both ways) on the A143. The Celebration is at ‘OPEN,’ right on the corner of Bank Plain in Norwich, not a good place to be parking, especially at this time of day, but I know it well as we rehearsed here early in 2012 with the 200 saxophones project and I know there is a single disabled parking space, usually vacant, right after the bus stop on the corner just before the OPEN entrance.
Nose to tail in the traffic, I’ve finally got here at just about 6pm. Damn! Shaky of memory I’m in the wrong lane following a double decker and carried by the traffic - can’t change lanes and I’m already on Bank Plain stuck in a jam behind the bus with the other way traffic making solid crawl. I’m now being shuttled along Bank Plain. “Never mind, I’ll turn left at the lights and go round again - not a lot of time lost.” BLAST! there’s a ‘no turning left’ sign and I can only go straight ahead. I’m taking the road past the bus station, back around by John Lewis’ and, at last, coming back round to the right lane for OPEN.
I’m going over the junction and past the bus stop and I’m slipping left, out of the rabid, solid nightmare of vehicles into the space just beyond the bus stop. There’s a taxi in the familiar disabled parking space I know but he’ll move in a minute or two. While waiting I’m just scanning the signage: “RASIFFETA, they’ve removed the disabled parking signs, the corporate bastards have done away with the disabled parking space - I Remember reading in the EDP about plans to make changes and some controversy about this. I’m having to pull back into the close packed phalanx, the only thing I can do and as I’m carried slowly past the crescent in front of the OPEN entrance (which is full of parked cars) I can catch a glimpse of a disabled parking sign.
As I’m being carried along by a solid nose to tail line of cars, I’m looking everywhere for a disabled parking space - or any parking space, and I’m racking my brain for parking anywhere near enough to OPEN to get there in a power chair - NIX.
Sod this, I’m absolutely knackered; I give up. I’m going with the flow and I’m heading home via Rose Valley………..
This has been a futile forty mile + round trip. Please can the organisers of future events make sure there are disabled parking spaces within reach of that event with full information where they are. And please can Norwich City Council, in the name of EQUALITY and the EQUALITY ACT 2010, pay special attention to the removal of disabling barriers preventing people from having EQUAL LIVES.
Tell the YOUTH FORUM at least I tried!