A DISABLED Dawlish resident says his life is being put at risk after waiting almost two years for Devon County Council to paint his disabled parking bay on the road.

Tony Davies has been traveling to Exeter for life-saving chemo-therapy every day and on occasion has been forced to park at a considerable distance from his home in the busy tourist town. 

Concerned Tony is at high risk from coronavirus with a compromised immune system. He lives on the Strand in Dawlish, which is one of the busiest areas of town, especially in the summer months. 

On his daily walk from the nearest available parking bay, he says he often comes face to face with tourists and townsfolk alike, on the pavements often ‘loitering’ or ‘eating ice cream’.

His daily treatment at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital is a matter of life and death, made even more difficult he says, by the council’s dithering on painting his disabled bay markings outside his flat. 

The council have installed a disabled sign but without the so far absent road markings, motorists still unwittingly park in his space.

‘I’ve been pulled from pillar to post,’ said Tony. ‘The council have even touched-up the white road markings on the street but wouldn’t draw the lines on my bay while they were here.’

Tony says that on one occasion he was told that due to the pandemic, roads were no longer being painted as the work was classed as close-contact for the road workers during social distancing. Tony said he was aghast however, to see road workers painting the markings on his street the very same day he was told this by Devon County Council. 

‘People in the street don’t understand,’ added Tony. ‘I might not look disabled because I don’t have a leg or an arm missing, so people get really close and it’s been awful. I’ve barely been outside for months.

‘It’s not acceptable’ said an irate Cllr Martin Wrigley. ‘I’ve raised this with Devon County Council time and time again and it gets absolutely nowhere.’ 

He added: ‘The annoying thing about this is that I know for a fact that there are contractors out there ready and able to do the work. Teignbridge Council hired a contractor recently to paint white lines at just two weeks notice. So we know that this isn’t a matter of there being a shortage of contractors, equipment or materials. ‘

A spokesman for Devon County Council said: ‘We currently have a significant backlog of lining work across Devon and to address the issue we have additional lining contractors to undertake some of this work.

‘We recognise the importance of providing disabled bays to those that apply and orders for those bays have been included in the first packages of work issued to these contractors.

‘Whilst we cannot discuss any specific applicant, these bays are a priority and the team are working hard to address the delays experienced.

‘We apologise for any inconvenience these delays have caused.’