A disabled man who spent months in hospital returned home only to find that the council had painted double yellow lines around his parked car.
After suffering multiple injuries earlier in life, including a motorbike accident and falling on board a moving bus, Mr Thompson was left struggling with mobility and can’t walk long distances or even write with a pen.
When he left hospital at the end of March, Mr Thompson, who usually parks outside his flat in Leith, Edinburgh, noticed double yellow lines had been painted in front of and behind his car.
He said that he needs the space outside the flat as his illness makes it difficult to walk – and that it is the only way he can visit his children.
Joseph Thompson spent months in hospital but returned home only to find that the council had painted double yellow lines around his parked car
The lines are due to the rollout of City of Edinburgh Council’s controlled parking zones in the area. But Mr Thompson says that as he was in hospital, he was unaware that his parking space would be taken away.
Mr Thompson told Edinburgh Live: ‘I was in hospital for over two months at the start of the year and nearly died three times. I was admitted with pneumonia and then sepsis and other infections nearly finished me off.
‘I also had a titanium cage fitted after I was involved in an incident on board a bus years ago and broke eight ribs. I was also left with a brain injury following a motorbike incident which caused issues with my balance.
‘I got out of hospital and noticed that in front and behind my car outside my flat had been painted with double yellows, with cones either side of my car.
‘I park right outside as I can’t make it all the way up the hill to the only other location I’m guaranteed a space. I use the car often as it is my only mode of transport for visiting my kids during the week.
‘I applied for a disabled parking spot outside and I heard back saying they couldn’t process the application without documents proving it’s my car and proof that I pay council tax.’
The council has since confirmed that Mr Thompson, as a blue badge holder, is free to park on the yellow lines. But he has still lost his designated spot for parking.
Days after he got out of hospital, Mr Thompson went out to his rehabilitation group and returned to see the rest of the street painted with double yellows, sparking doubt over where he could park with immediate access to his flat due to his poor mobility.
On March 29, Mr Thompson was issued a parking ticket while parked on the double yellows, although the council have confirmed that this was to notify him of the need to implement double yellows on the remainder of Dryden Gait.
As he was unaware of this, Mr Thompson has been close to giving up his car as the nearest disabled spot is at the top of the street, which he can’t walk to as it is uphill. He has also been working with his support worker to apply for a disabled parking spot outside his flat.
Mr Thompson said: ‘I have double yellow lines outside my flat. I have been told I can park anytime. Then told otherwise. There is no signage in my square, so I’m confused about the loading issue. It looks as though the only option I have is to become ‘trapped’ in my flat, by selling my car.
Mr Thompson, who usually parks outside his flat in Leith, Edinburgh, noticed double yellow lines had been painted in front of and behind his car
‘There has never been a problem with parking or access. I know the new zones are to stop people abandoning their cars for the day and going into the city but this is a quiet area.
‘All the people parked here live here. The fire service and ambulance have been in here before and there has never been an issue getting in or out due to traffic.’
City of Edinburgh Council confirmed that Mr Thompson is free to park on the double yellow lines as loading restrictions do not apply.
They also said his parking ticket was only issued as a notice so that they could relocate the vehicle to mark the rest of the double yellow lines.
They also reiterated that several correspondence were sent to residents explaining the upcoming plans for the new controlled parking zones and changes to permits.
Councillor Scott Arthur, transport and environment convener at City of Edinburgh Council, said: ‘As a blue badge holder, Mr Thomson is entitled to apply for a disabled space and is permitted to park on the double yellow lines outside of his property and any other double yellow lines where there are no loading restrictions and where it is safe to do so.
‘He can also park in pay and display spaces, and can apply for a free permit to park in permit spaces in the area.
‘In addition to correspondence with residents over recent years about plans, we sent out leaflets to residents in February and again before zones went live, with information about the changes and permits.’
MailOnline has contacted The City of Edinburgh Council for comment.