A paralysed mum became so fed up of waiting for a council to provide her with a disabled parking bay outside her daughter’s school – she spray painted one HERSELF.
Wheelchair-bound Claire Lomas, who shot to fame after completing the 2012 London Marathon in 17 days wearing a robotic suit, requested the parking space back in April.
But the inspirational 35-year-old decided to take matters into her own hands after failing to hear anything from her local authority for five months.
The mum-of-one struggled to take her four-year-old daughter Maisie to her first day of school last week and was unable to battle through the hordes of parents at the gates.
So the London Marathon heroine turned up outside Great Dalby Primary School in Melton Mowbray, Leics., armed with paint cans on September 8.
She then spent 45 minutes marking out her own disabled bay on the road – complete with a figure in a wheelchair with blonde hair and her trademark smile.
Claire says she was forced to risk police action for vandalism after Leicestershire County Council ignored her pleas.
The authority has since apologised for the unacceptable delay and said they would not be reporting Claire for defacing a public highway.
Claire, who was paralysed from the chest-down as a result of a horse riding accident in 2007, said: “I did it to prove a point.
“When Maisie started school last week, I wanted to go in with her like the other mums but I couldn’t.
“It was really upsetting for both of us. They all had their mums and dads with her but she didn’t.”
“I had to drop her off at the bottom of the hill with another mum. But it should have been me taking her.
“These are times you can never get back again. I’ll never be able to go back and have these moment with her.
“Hopefully now I will be able to take her into the school in the mornings.
“What took the council six months took me 45 minutes.”
“Parking is difficult along the road the school is on which is why I had asked the county council for a disabled parking bay.
“The school also had to apply and they did it at about the same time I did.
“The school has apologised to me but it’s not their fault.
“When I rang the county council they said there was no date for it to be done, so I told them I was going to have to do it myself then.
“Maisie even helped me pick out the pink and yellow paint.
“I’ve heard nothing from the council since. Nobody has said anything to me about whether it could be vandalism.”
“It was a risk I was willing to take anyway. I was at the end of my tether.”
She also took to Twitter to share images of the DIY paint job with her 11,600 followers.
Claire, who has raised over £400,000 for charity and works as a motivational speaker, tweeted: “If you want a job doing- do it yourself!
“Waited too long for the council. Tomorrow I can take Maisie in :)”
She added: “Result!! It has worked- all a(sic) took was a few minutes of DIY. Sorry council you don’t need 6 months!”
Andrew Raistrick, head teacher at Great Dalby Primary School, said: “We are wholly supportive of Claire and have worked in parallel with her on this.
“We started the process in April as soon as we had confirmation from the local education authority that Maisie had a place at the school.”
A Leicestershire County Council spokesperson said: “We would like to apologise for the delay in painting this disabled bay and the inconvenience this has caused Claire and Maisie during the first weeks of the school term.
“We are working with our lining contractor to ensure the bay is completed this week.”
A Leicestershire Police spokeswoman said they had not received any complaints about the incident.
She added: “If the council reported it we would investigate it to see if a crime had been committed.”
*Brave Claire captured the hearts of millions of people when she completed the London Marathon dressed in a £47,000 bionic suit.
She crossed the crossed the finish line at 12:50pm on May 8, 2012 – 16 days after starting the race with 36,000 other people.
She was left paralysed after breaking her neck, back and ribs and puncturing a lung when her horse threw her off as she took part in the Osberton Horse Trials in Nottinghamshire.