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Topic - Disabled parking spaces

Wiley Coyote - on 11 Oct 2012
Can anybody (maybe someone from the Town Hall) tell me how it is decided how many disabled parking spaces there should be in a car park?
The question is prompted by trying to find a parking space at a popular beauty spot the other Sunday. All the general spaces were taken and there were several cars driving round in circles hoping to jump into a space if someone left but there were half a dozen empty disabled spaces.
Since then I've been taking a bit more notice and the same happened at my local shoppers car park today - all the general spaces gone, people driving round in circles but three empty disabled spaces. Is this a national situation? I fully understand the need for disabled spaces but is there an over-provision based on some worst case scenario?
Who decides the ratio and how is is arrived at?
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