Bay misuse at Mandurah train station angers ACROD permit holder

Sandra Playle. Picture: Jon Hewson
Sandra Playle. Picture: Jon Hewson

SANDRA Playle claims “disrespectful” drivers are using the ACROD bays at the Mandurah Train Station when not entitled.

The Pinjarra resident has an ACROD sticker for her back, knee and hip issues and regularly uses the train to take her son, who is on a disability pension, to Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Ms Playle said many drivers, without ACROD stickers, parked in the disability bays to say goodbye to train or bus passengers or to use the toilet or shop facilties.

“I get really angry,” she said.

“On several occasion I had to sit and wait for these selfish people to get out of the parking bays so I could get in,” she said.

“As if that isn’t bad enough, they block up the entrance roads of the carpark, using those as dropping off points.”

Ms Playle said the issue had resulted in her missing the train and arriving late for medical appointments.

She said she had complained to station staff, but nothing had been done.

“I have complained to Transperth head office on three occasions,” she said.

“I complained to the Disabilities Commission and that was a waste of time as well.

“I have complained to the City of Mandurah…but nothing has been done.

“I had to keep chasing up what, if anything, had been done.”

Ms Playle said she was told to take photographs of the offenders.

“There are security cameras right there so why do they want me to take photographs?” she asked.

Ms Playle said she had confronted some people parking in the bays and was threatened and abused.

Mandurah Station has the more ACROD bays – 26 – than any station on the Transperth network, and Public Transport Authority spokeswoman Claire Krol said it took the policing of the bays very seriously.

“We know how important disabled bays are to our passengers and take a proactive approach when monitoring their use,” she said.

“Our staff watches drivers who park in disabled bays and actively check to confirm the person named on the permit is a valid holder.

“Where an ACROD permit is not displayed in these bays – which are well signposted – we don’t hesitate to infringe drivers doing the wrong thing.”

Ms Krol said transit officers, revenue protection officers and carpark attendants were empowered to issue infringements.

Mandurah carpark is patrolled every weekday by parking attendants and by transit officers on the weekends and public holidays.

“It is also randomly scanned by operators of our Central Monitoring Room, which operates 24/7,” she said.

“In addition, Transperth also contracts a big number of security staff for our bus system. They are also entitled to issue infringements.

“Our staff at Mandurah Station are arguably some of the most diligent on the network, and in the 2015-16 financial year, 55 infringements were issued at Mandurah station to people parking unlawfully in ACROD bays.

“This was also the highest number of infringements issued at any station on the network for people flouting the rules and parking in an ACROD bay.”

Ms Krol said it was important genuine passengers, particularly those with a disability doing the right thing, were not inconvenienced by the carelessness of other motorists.

“We believe this diligent approach has led to a reduction in unlawful parking at Mandurah,” she said.

“We would like to urge all passengers to ensure they are parking in an appropriate bay, and remind them that the drop-off and pick-up area at the front of the station is the only appropriate place for them to pull in if they need to stop for a short period of time.”

Passengers who witness unlawful parking can report it to station staff or call 13 62 13.