A DISGRUNTLED Wee County man believes there should be parking charges in Alloa as he and other disabled drivers have been paying for the privilege for years.

The motorist feels there should be a level playing field as he has shelled out in blue badge fees, only to see able-bodied drivers taking those spaces.

The man, who wished to remain anonymous, contacted the Advertiser following a campaign by local traders to stop car parking charges in the lead up to Clackmannanshire Council's budget meeting a few weeks ago.

However, he said: “As a disabled driver I agree that everyone should pay for parking, as I pay a fee of £20 and the cost of a passport photo every three years, so in reality disabled drivers pay for parking but can’t always get a space.”

And he made claims of a particularly unpleasant experience, adding: “I asked a taxi driver in blue Skoda to move from the disabled space in Drysdale Street and was given the middle finger gesture.

“This hasn’t been the first time taxis and other vehicles have used disabled spaces, but I never say anything as you always get abuse.

“I feel the council or police don’t do enough to deter parking in disabled spaces by non-badge holders.

“There are a lot of people who abuse blue badges in the town, I am aware not all disabilities are visible and would never judge a person for using a disabled space, but a lot of people think that they can use family members' badges [which] is not allowed.

"Also, disabled spaces are not for taxis and delivery vans, etc., as these drivers are the first to shout and complain when taxi ranks and loading bays are used.”

The issue has been highlighted by the Advertiser on behalf of numerous disabled drivers in the area over the years.

Traffic wardens were withdrawn by Police Scotland in 2014, but chiefs have previously said officers will still attend incidents of dangerous, obstructive and illegal parking if people call 101.

And they can, at times, be seen dishing fines out for illegal parking in the town.

With the move formally approving the drive to charge for parking in the Wee County, Clackmannanshire Council will now apply for powers under Decriminalised Parking Enforcement.

This will allow the local authority to pursue fines for illegal parking through the civil courts.