The Disabled Parking Accreditation (DPA) is a national accreditation for UK car parks to improve parking for disabled people and reducing abuse of disabled spaces.
Disabled Motoring UK (DMUK) launched the DPA in June 2014. The British Parking Association (BPA) has now arranged to manage the Accreditation on behalf of DMUK.
Disabled motorists want to access the car park independently and the DPA aims to assist those who often find it hard to locate appropriate and accessible parking in their towns, cities and other locations such as hospitals. Whilst increasing numbers of disabled people are now able to drive their own vehicles, being able to actually access a car park when they arrive at their destination is another matter entirely.
The lack of step-free access of course is the main barrier, but other issues such as a lack of staff and general staff awareness can also create challenges.
In order to qualify for the scheme, car parks are rigorously assessed to examine the physical aspects of the car park and check that the right management practices are in place. DMUK requires car park owners/operators to meet a number of criteria. Car parks that qualify for the DPA have:
- Accessible bays
- Clear signage
- Ease of access
- Good lighting
- Accessible payment machines
- Alternative payment methods
- Concessions allowing for the extra time needed by disabled people
- Enforcement of accessible bays
Visit www.dpaward.org to search for your nearest accredited car park.