Parking plight of disabled Sidbury woman

PUBLISHED: 14:01 22 May 2010 | UPDATED: 14:00 18 June 2010

A DISABLED woman from Sidbury says she is a prisoner in her own home because of the lack of parking in the village.

A DISABLED woman from Sidbury says she is a prisoner in her own home because of the lack of parking in the village.

Jennifer Hillier, 61, who has limited mobility and relies on her car to get around, is considering moving after she claims her requests for additional or disabled parking spaces have fallen on deaf ears.

Mrs Hillier, of Furzehill, usually parks her car in the lay-by in Chapel Street opposite Pound Close as there are no parking spaces on her street.

She struggles to clamber up a steep hill to her bungalow and fears one day she will fall and badly injure herself.

She said: "I can't carry on like this. I'm physically shattered by the time I get up the hill and then I have to walk the same distance again to get home."

Mrs Hillier, who has a condition which affects her central nervous system, says on the rare occasions she does leave her bungalow to go shopping, she is back by around 7 or 8am so she doesn't lose her parking space.

"This is no way to live," she added, "I shouldn't have to move but this is too much - I'm a prisoner in my own house."

Her neighbour Linda Paver, a retired nurse who suffers from a chronic condition which causes pain all over the body, faces a similar situation.

She told the Herald: "Something has to be done. My condition is getting worse and it is affecting my arms and legs- I have had two falls this week.

"I dread going out because I worry about finding a parking space when I get back."

Mrs Hillier, who moved to Furzehill 13 years ago, has contacted Sidbury county councillor Roger Giles, Devon County Council and East Devon District Council about the problem several times.

She and Mrs Paver believe the ideal solution is to harden part of their back gardens to create parking spaces.

Mrs Hillier describes the situation as a "living nightmare" and feels ignored by those she has contacted.

Mr Giles told the Herald he did recall speaking to Mrs Hillier and although he supports the idea, the land is owned by EDDC and it is ultimately up to the district council to implement extra parking.

He has vowed to contact EDDC and work with Mrs Hillier to try and secure her a disabled parking space.

EDDC was not available for comment.

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