Top Gear criticised for using disabled parking

The BBC has defended Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson and James May following criticism that they parked cars in disabled bays during a recent episode of the motoring show.

The pair were trying out electric cars and were driving them to Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, when they pulled up in spaces reserved for disabled people to discuss the merits of the cars.

The pair laughed about the costs of the cars and the electric motors and joked about the luggage space and how electric cars had to be fitted with special windscreen wipers.

Jim Rawlings, of Disabled Motoring UK, said he was sure that Clarkson ‘wouldn’t have cared’ about parking up in a disabled bay.

He said: “The abuse of non-disabled people parking in disabled bays is rife, and with people like Jeremy Clarkson and James May doing this other motorists will just think they can just park wherever they like.

“People who are patently not disabled, like Clarkson and May, obviously didn’t have a passing care that a disabled person might have needed those spaces.

“I’m sure Jeremy Clarkson especially would not feel contrite about parking in a disabled bay – it shows a lack of feeling and care and a total lack of compassion.”

In the same episode Richard Hammond met a team of disabled soldiers who had been severely injured in Afghanistan as they took part in a cross-country racing in 4×4 cars for the Dakar Rally.

A Top Gear spokesman said: “Top Gear does not condone the misuse of disabled parking bays. The programme had permission from the owners of the car park to use the bays for a short period of time to enable filming to take place unhindered, and members of the production team were with the cars at all times.

“There were other disabled spaces available, and of course had anyone needed to park in one of the spaces occupied by Top Gear, we would have moved immediately.”

Source: Telegraph


  1. I noticed that they were packed in disabled spots, but didn’t think anything of it. I knew they’d have to get permission to film there and i thought they’d purposely parked in those spots to make the cars look smaller. (or maybe they did to distract from what they were saying. I was expecting top gear kills electric car type of response.)
    Whenever you see them in pub or cafe they’re always in a quiet, well lit corner with no one sitting near them… do people think they’re just really good at picking pubs? And people never sit near them because clarkson is just that hated?
    Jim rawlings clearly didn’t actual watch the episode. There were several disabled parks free in a mostly empty car park (i’m not saying just because no one’s there it’s fine to park in a disable, just that his comment of: disabled peopled might of needed those parks was a flawed argument).

  2. Craig, 5th Gear recently did a test of electric vehicles and came up with a similar conclusion to Top Gear. Good, but not quite at the stage where they’re feasible for many people. espe

  3. Why do people criticize top gear for nothing at all , I mean they had premisson.
    Dam hippies, go back to eating lentils and get high ,so we can watch top gear without you criticizing everything they do on the show.

  4. Clearly this Jim Rawlings guy just dislikes Clarkson. He should get his facts straight. Jeremy Clarkson is a patron of a charity that supports disabled British war veterans. There are a lot of people in the UK who watch TopGear just to find something to complain about. That is why you hear about them being in trouble with the media so often.

  5. Secret Squïrrel

    Give me a f’g break. Nobody’s saying that it’s ok for able-bodied people to park in bays marked for the disabled. Rawlings spouts off with a string of assumptions about Clarkson’s and May’s positions on this when he could have put his mind at ease with a simple phone call to the production company or TV network.

  6. Armchair Analyst

    I would be more that they were making fun of electric cars seeing how they will be the key to the lowering of air polution which is also rive in this world, not just abuse of the disabled parking spots which happens everywhere. The US, Australia and Britain just to name a few. Yes it is a stom in a teacup.

  7. What a load of crap, now I agree no one should use the spots if they are not entitled to but they had permission, maybe the owners should have chosen a better spot but don’t blame TG.

    This is more interesting about the car they tested, once again criticizing the report they did in putting the electric cars in a bad light.

    But once again people need to realize this is prominently an edutainment show, and cars are the focus. If you want cold hard facts turn in to 5th Gear.

  8. Do you think that disabled people would do laps around the carpark if all the disabled spots are taken waiting for one to become available? I don’t think so, they’d park in the nearest non disabled spot!

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