The Irish Wheelchair Association, Tipperary Branch, in partnership with the HSE’s Tipperary Gold Star initiative and Cashel/Tipperary Municipal Council are working together with volunteers and other disability organizations to organize and run the above “Back In 5” parking campaign in Tipperary Town on Friday May 11th from 11am to 12.30pm.
The campaign is based on the Lisbon Experiment in Portugal in 2014, which was a campaign designed highlight the frustrations people with disabilities face every day when able-bodied people park their cars in wheelchair accessible spaces without a valid parking permit or reason to do so. In Ireland a similar campaign was rolled out in Navan in 2017 with the support of the North East Region IWA.
Each regular car space on the street has an empty wheelchair parked in it with a note pinned to the back with messages such as “Be back in 5 minutes”/ “just gone to the bank,” or “just running in for a coffee”. These are throw away statements that people with disabilities encounter everyday when people use accessible spaces that do not need to do so.
The rationale behind the campaign in Tipperary Town is to draw attention to the abuse of accessible parking bays and to highlight the need for more accessible parking bays in the Town centre. Accessible car spaces are located nearest to building entrances or lifts to make it convenient for people with limited mobility or those using wheelchairs to access services. It is important that these spaces are not abused in any way.
Press releases for the event have been prepared for local newspapers/radio stations. The IWA has invited TV3 and RTÉ news stations to cover the event. To date TV3 have indicated they are interested in covering the event to help raise positive awareness of a community working together to highlight the issue.
We are acutely aware of the need for people to have parking and its impact on local business and service providers on Main Street. Accordingly we are hugely grateful for the support of the local Chamber of Commerce/TIRD for the event. We also greatly appreciate the support of An Garda Síochana in Tipperary Town, along with the Cashel Tipperary Municipal District, Tipperary County Council’s Access Officer and all disability organizations, students and volunteers who support the campaign.
The step by step approach to the campaign is outlined here, along with an image from the Lisbon Experiment in Portugal.
“Back In 5” Parking Campaign – Step by Step approach
We urge all people, disability agencies and individuals or groups to come along on the morning to show their support. The more support we have the greater the impact of the message will be, on Friday, 11th May from 11am to 12.30pm on Main Street, Tipperary Town. If you have any queries or further suggestions please contact me at anytime.
Anne Bradshaw, HSE, Gold Star Project in partnership with IWA and Tipperary County Council