Plans for blue-badge holders to pay at car parks may save £80k
TEN thousand blue-badge holders face losing their right to up to three hours of free parking in the city council’s car parks.
The authority was planning to stop the concession for all of the city’s badge holders from April 2014 – but has now decided 4,000 people with the greatest need would retain it.
About 70% would have to start paying normal charges in 11 of the authority’s car parks. They are already charged in a 12th, Bold Lane.
The change would be made to raise an estimated £80,000 each year, from 2014-2015.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
This would help towards Derby City Council’s target of saving £62 million over the next three years, in the face of Government cuts.
Derby’s ruling Labour group said the fact some people would retain the concession was proof the council listened to what people said during its public budget consultation.
Councillor Paul Pegg, the council’s disability champion, said: “Most people recognise times are difficult and, for many people, being able to get access to where they need to go by having convenient and – where possible – dedicated blue-badge parking is the most important thing.”
But one disabled family have said they believe the charge is “almost a tax”.
Linda Porter, 60, has a blue badge so her husband, David, 61, can drive her around as she has brain damage – which has caused partial blind and deafness.
Mr Porter, of Chaddesden, said his wife was in receipt of “low-level” disability benefits, so he believed she would have to pay to use city council car parks from next year.
He said he would have to pay as it was important he kept using the same bays in the Assembly Rooms’ car park. He said: “We need to park in certain places so my wife knows where to stand when she gets out of the car. Otherwise she could get hit.
“We also need to be near the shops we are going to use. This is almost going to be a tax for us and it seems like she is being victimised.”
Mr Porter said some people were adding to the council’s financial problems by using blue badges to which they were not entitled.
Janet Warner, member of Derby Disability Forum and a trustee of Derby Shopmobility, said she believed the change would hit trade, as fewer disabled people would visit the city centre.
The free parking would continue for people who are in receipt of higher-rate mobility allowance, which forms part of the Disability Living Allowance.
The charges bring council car parks in line with private sites such as Westfield Derby and the Royal Derby Hospital, who already charge blue-badge holders.
A final decision on the proposals will be made at tonight’s council budget-setting meeting at the Council House at 6pm.