EDINBURGH Council found themselves in a social media storm after a “flippant and cheeky” response to a resident who complained about a coach parking across several disabled bays at a city gym.
Photographer Neil Hanna tweeted an image of the Abbey Coaches minibus spread over three disabled spaces at Craiglockhart Leisure and Tennis Centre to the authority on Sunday morning with the caption “What’s wrong with this scene?”
However, he was left stunned by the response which simply read “The wheels don’t match?”
Mr Hanna then accused the council of having “a total disregard for disabled drivers.”
Edinburgh Council’s social media policy lists that all staff must “be civil, tasteful and relevant” when using any social networks.
However Mr Hanna said the council’s response was “not good enough.”
He said: “I was just going into the gym on Sunday morning and I thought look at that, someone has to do something about it.”
“We’ve had problems with that before, my wife has MS and there have been times where she’s tried to go into the centre but had to turn round and come back because there’s been someone parked across the disabled bay.
“I thought I might get the usual apology, but I certainly wasn’t expecting such a flippant and cheeky response.”
A council spokesperson apologised for the incident and vowed that Edinburgh Leisure, who run the facility and are responsible for the parking, would investigate “irresponsible” parking at the centre.
The spokesperson said: “This was an ill-advised tweet, which we have now deleted. We are sorry if any offence was caused.”
“We will be flagging this incident of irresponsible parking to Edinburgh Leisure for them to investigate – clearly it is completely unacceptable for access to these disabled parking bays to have been blocked.
“We set ourselves the highest possible customer care standards and will now refresh our training for our staff to ensure Twitter (either @edinhelp or @Edinburgh_CC) remains a valuable and trusted way for Edinburgh residents to contact the Council.”
A spokesperson for Abbey Coaches said: “The car park was full so the driver went into the sports centre and asked where he could park. He was told by the manager to park there.”
“There was a disabled space in front and one behind that was empty. The driver was in the centre and they were going to tell him if he had to move.”