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Consultation sparks row over disabled parking charges

 
Created on 29/05/2018 @ 19:58
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A row is set to blow up over plans to charge disabled drivers to park in Newtown's main car parks.

Powys County Council has today published a consultation on Blue Badge parking which includes introducing charges to disabled badge holders who use the Back Lane and Gravel car parks, as well as others in the county.

But local Newtown county councillor, David Selby, who represents Newtown Central has criticised the plans.

In a statement about the consultation, Powys County Council said: "Blue badge holders in the county, their family members, residents and organisations across the county are being asked for their views on the proposals, which are out for consultation until Monday, July 2.

"Currently, blue badge holders can park all day for free at council owned and operated pay and display car parks. However, as part of the council’s efforts to save £8.5m this financial year, the service is proposing to change this concession to help meet a saving target of £100,000."

Residents will be consulted on a number of options including:

• No concession applies. Blue badge holders pay the same amount as anyone else
• Blue badge holders who park in a disabled bay park for free. Those who cannot find a disabled bay have to pay to park with no additional concession
• Blue badge holders pay towards parking but get an extra hour for free on top of the time chosen.
• Blue badge holders continue to park for free. The £100,000 savings target should be found from somewhere else.

Cllr Phyl Davies, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “This is a very difficult time for the council and difficult decisions have to be made.

“We fully recognise that blue badge holders do have mobility issues and need extra time to park and shop.

“Our preferred option is that a blue badge holder pays towards parking but they will get extra time for free. So, if a blue badge holder pays for two hours, they would actually get three hours parking in total.

“The consultation will close on Monday, July 2. I urge those who are blue badge holders, their family members or anyone else interested in this consultation to make their views known before the closing date.”

However, Cllr Selby said: “It is true that blue badge holders can park for free on our streets, the same as anyone else, but these street disabled parking bays are in short supply and to expect disabled people then to pay in Council car parks is a disgrace.

"I urge local blue badge holders and their families to make their views known and to oppose this mean minded suggestion from the Council."

To take part in the consultation visit http://www.powys.gov.uk/haveyoursay or request and return a paper copy via their local library.


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