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Free disabled parking in Newcastle council car parks to end

Mark Moran
27 October 2020
 

Disabled drivers will have to pay when using Newcastle City Council car parks as a free parking scheme for Blue Badge holders approved by the city council in 2019 will soon end.

The council said it would add an extra hour for free to give people time to get back to their cars.

On-street parking will still be free to registered Blue Badge holders.

Council transport officials believe the charges will help balance the demand for disabled bays in different locations and also raise an extra £115,000 a year for the council along with other changes.

There are more than 10,000 disabled parking permit holders in Newcastle.

The council is also planning to increase the membership fee for the Shopmobility service providing battery-powered scooters and wheelchairs from £25 to £100 per year.

A spokesperson for Newcastle City Council said: “We will shortly be formally advertising the legal car park order that includes these proposals and this will be followed by a period of 21 days in which people can raise any objections.”

The moves have drawn criticism from Disability North chief executive Victoria Armstrong, who said the move would the city centre unfriendly to disabled people.

“It is very disappointing that the council is continuing with this,” she told the BBC’s Local Democracy Reporting Service. "No matter how local authorities try to make city centres accessible, they remain challenging for people with mobility issues - this just creates another barrier. In times of austerity, disabled people have suffered most. It is expensive to be a disabled person and this just adds another cost."

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