20-yard walk & I was denied a vital Blue Badge

Disabled pensioner Mrs Dorothy Smith
Disabled pensioner Mrs Dorothy Smith

A DISABLED lady who was refused a Blue Badge has blasted bosses of the controversial parking scheme for “wasting people’s time.”

Dorothy Smith (82) from Kirkcaldy was urged to apply by her doctor after being told her chances of ever walking properly again were nil.

“I fell on Hunter Street back in January, tearing all the ligaments in one leg,” the retired teacher explained.

Although she partly recovered, Mrs Smith finds walking - especially on sloping surfaces - extremely difficult even with the aid of a ‘three-wheeler’.

Her husband Robin (83) said: “ I’ve watched Dorothy struggle up steps and pavements and everybody else is able to pass her, even people using three-wheelers.”

Fife Council, which administers the scheme, requested Mrs Smith be assessed by an occupational therapist.

“She walked me 20 yards along a flat corridor at Fife House, then said ‘that’s enough,’” said Mrs Smith.

The couple were gobsmacked when a refusal letter arrived stating criteria had changed from “considerable difficulty in walking” to “inability to walk or virtual inability to walk”.

Branding the rules “bureaucratic folly,” Mr Smith added:“This is absolute nonsense.

“ They fail to contact doctors and it’s no good forcing people who can barely walk to attend appointments. A waste of people’s time and money.”

Jane Pilmer, Resources Co-ordinator with Fife Council said rules had tightened since 2011 and GPs were no longer involved in the application process.

“If Mrs Smith doesn’t agree with the decision to refuse her application, she can write or e-mail to ask for a review, and provide any additional relevant information.”

In Fife, there are 19,593 blue badges in use and the refusal rate for applications is currently around 10.5 per cent.