A PENSIONER has criticised the number of disabled parking spaces available in the Borders.

Margaret Wright, 82, says she has been a Blue Badge holder for 14 years and “there has never been enough disabled parking”.

“I really find it terrible,” said Mrs Wright. “They [Scottish Borders Council] just don’t seem to care. I don’t know what it is in the Borders. I think it is shocking.”

Although Mrs Wright has had problems in Kelso and Hawick, she says Galashiels – where she lives – is the worst for the availability of disabled parking spaces.

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“The region doesn’t seem to care about disabled people in Galashiels,” she said.

“They keep saying 'shop local' but I can’t get the access.

“I used to love walking along those streets. I can’t do it now. I love the shops in Gala but I can’t get the access to go to them.

“They [disabled spaces] are actually a joke in Galashiels.”

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There had previously been disabled spaces available on Channel Street and Bank Street in the town.

However, these spaces have since been taken away and Mrs Wright says this causes her issues, with nearby disabled bays in car parks full “no matter what time of day you go”.

Asked what she would like to be done, Mrs Wright said: “I would like more disabled spaces on the bays along the street. Not lots but just a few.

“It won’t cost them [SBC] that much, I’m sure.”

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A council spokesperson said: “The layout of parking in any busy town centre is very much a balancing act to try to meet conflicting needs, such as shoppers, businesses, community groups, passenger transport facilities, taxi-rank provision and crossing points.

“There are currently 12 dedicated disabled parking spaces available across town centre car parks in Galashiels.

“In addition to these dedicated disabled parking spaces, there is dispensation in Scotland that allows Blue Badges users to park at any time on any lengths of single or double yellow lines which do not have an accompanying loading restriction, as long as their vehicle does not cause an obstruction.

“The previous on-street disabled parking spaces on Channel Street and Bank Street were part of a temporary layout but we would be happy to investigate the potential for introducing increased provision.”