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Health & Fitness Tradesman made to feel 'like a criminal' at Edinburgh's Fort Kinnaird shopping centre over blue disabled badge

08:51  23 july  2021
08:51  23 july  2021 Source:   edinburghnews.scotsman.com

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A Blue Badge costs up to £10 in England and £20 in Scotland. It’ s free in Wales. They usually last up to 3 years. You must reapply for a Blue Badge before your current one expires. What you need to know. How you pay depends on your local council. They’ll usually make a decision within 12 weeks. If your application is refused. Your council should tell you why you’re not eligible for a Blue Badge . You can ask them to reconsider your case if you do not think all the important information you provided was taken into account.

Fort Kinnaird has the distinction of being among the largest shopping malls in the UK and is something of a crown jewel of Edinburgh . It' s an ultramodern destination that opened in 1989 as Kinnaird Park. It housed the very first multiplex movie theater in Edinburgh , which operated from 1990 to Good to know about Fort Kinnaird . Fort Kinnaird has free parking available in its vast carpark that offers over 2,600 spaces with accessibility and Blue Badge spaces for those in need. Regular rail services and public transportation can also bring visitors to the shopping mall , and there is a cycling

a man in a police car parked in a parking lot © Will Timms said he felt humiliated after being 'marched away' in front of shoppers at Fort Kinnaird

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Will Timms, from Edinburgh, parked his transit-sized work van displaying a valid blue badge in a space at Fort Kinnaird yesterday afternoon while he was collecting a gift for his son.

The dad-of-three was shocked when a security guard approached him at the counter and ordered him to return to his van to verify that the badge was his.

Mr Timms, who lives with anxiety and depression, said he felt humiliated by the ordeal and has complained to the Fort about the way he was treated.

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Shopping in Edinburgh . Popular Edinburgh Categories. Fort Kinnaird , Edinburgh : Hours, Address, Fort Kinnaird Reviews: 4/5. Not letting large groups in that clearly are over the 2 household rule as new rules came in on mon people were taking name at door but didn’t seem to matter how many in group or if wearing face coverings when moving Made me feel really uneasy.

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People with disabilities including dementia, autism and mental health conditions have been eligible to get a blue badge under the scheme since August 2019.

Since he got the badge two years ago Mr Timms said it has changed his life for the better, after he struggled getting out due to suffering periods of severe anxiety and depression all his life.

But the 47-year-old, who works as a maintenance man, says he feels he was discriminated against because he is a tradesman with an invisible, mental health condition.

Mr Timms said: “I felt I was treated like a criminal. It was so embarrassing. I go to Fort Kinnaird all the time and this has never happened before. The security guard cornered me and told me that they had a complaint about my van. He said I’d need to go back to the van with him to check my badge. The way that it was dealt with was shocking.

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"There was no need to march me away like that in front of all those people. I have felt anxious since it happened. Because I'm disabled does that mean that I can not drive a work? I had to walk to my van and show him my picture on the back of my blue badge to prove it. This didn’t help my condition. It’s discrimination against people who have mental health conditions.”

"The badge has really helped me have a life since I got it. I suffer bad from blind panic in crowded places like shopping centres. If it’s too busy on the way in I freak out. Parking close to the place I feel safe. I can get out the house with my kids and not get overwhelmed. I also show the badge on my work vehicle as I need to go all over the city doing my job. During lockdown I had it bad with the depression but gradually I’ve been getting back to work and life. This was a setback for me.

"I felt so humiliated the way they questioned me. It’s as if they saw the tradesman’s van and they assumed I was faking it. It's as if people don’t recognise a disability as real if they can’t see something obvious and physical. If you feel people are looking at you or judging you, it doesn’t help. I think no matter the condition we all deserve to be treated with respect and not be made to feel like a fraud.”

Fort Kinnaird has been contacted for comment.

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