New app will help to catch mobility parking cheats

13 October 2017

Finding a mobility parking space in Wellington is set to get easier for people with access issues.

Wellington City Council and CCS Disability Action have joined forces for a pilot project aimed at making it easier to find mobility parking spaces and stop them being abused by those without a valid need.

Access Aware is a new App developed for CCS Disability Action by ThunderMaps which allows users to send alerts if they spot a car they believe is illegally parked in a mobility park and to share information about the location of mobility parks.

If the reported misuse relates to a public carpark it will be shared in real time with the City Council’s Parking Enforcement Team so it can take action.

“Misuse of mobility parks in New Zealand is a big issue and a real concern for those with disabilities who have a genuine need for these parking spaces,’’ says the Council’s Transport Strategy and Operations Portfolio Leader, Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman.

“With this project we hope to begin solving the problem of mobility parking card abuse and make it easier for those with disabilities to find parks.

“It's an issue of common courtesy and being thoughtful of the needs of others. The parks are there to enable people with disabilities to take a full part in life in Wellington."

Research by CCS Disability Action shows unacceptably high levels of abuse of mobility parks.

“We believe the current situation has to change. By downloading and using the Access Aware app on your smartphone you can make a real difference to the disabled community by actively creating social change,” says CCS Disability Action Chief Executive David Matthews.

“Access Aware has the potential to be very useful for all disabled people, their families and whānau. We plan to significantly improve everyday access issues that prevent many people from fully participating in their communities. It’s free, it’s easy to use, and it could help change the accessibility landscape in New Zealand.”

The app can be downloaded from the Google Play or apple store and there is a help line for technical problems on 0508 227 322 between 9-5 Mon-Fri.