Civic chiefs’ U-turn on disabled parking fees in New Forest

Daily Echo: Civic chiefs’ U-turn on disabled parking fees in New Forest Civic chiefs’ U-turn on disabled parking fees in New Forest

CIVIC chiefs are set to back down today and ditch controversial plans to make disabled drivers pay to park in the New Forest.

A report to the district council’s ruling Cabinet says it would be “unreasonable” in the current economic climate to end the free parking enjoyed by thousands of Blue Badge holders.

Cabinet members will also be asked to approve a proposal to freeze parking charges in the Forest for another 12 months.

Plans to make disabled drivers pay to use council-owned car parks in the area were revealed by the Daily Echo last year.

Members of the ruling Tory group said the proposed new fees would boost the authority’s annual income by £76,000.

But two Conservative councillors, Chris Lagdon and Ron Scrivens, defected to UKIP in protest at the plan. Speaking at the time Cllr Lagdon said: “I cannot be associated with a party which treats the disabled of our community with such contempt.”

Critics claimed that Blue Badge holders on low incomes would face financial hardship if the scheme went ahead.

They also warned that disabled motorists would sidestep the charges by exercising their right to park on double yellow lines, causing congestion in busy town centre streets.

Campaigners vowed to challenge the necessary traffic regulation orders, saying they amounted to discrimination against the disabled.

A report to today’s meeting says Cllr Paul Vickers, Cabinet member for planning and transport, believes it would be “inappropriate” in the current economic climate to increase parking charges.

It adds: “He also considers it would be unreasonable to introduce any new charges, including charging for Blue Badge holders.”

The council’s U-turn will be welcomed by disabled motorists across the Forest, plus those who visit the area.

Had the scheme gone ahead they would have had to buy a ticket every time they used a council-owned car park.

Alternatively they would have had to buy an annual parking permit for £100 or £20, depending on whether they used long or short-stay spaces.

Cllr Chris Harrison, leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition group, welcomed the council’s about-turn.

He said: “We told them from the start that it would be wrong to place this added burden on a vulnerable group in our society.

“It’s wonderful that they’ve now done a complete U-turn because of pressure.”

Comments (20)

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10:54am Wed 5 Feb 14

thesouth says...

I don't understand why it is free??
I don't understand why it is free?? thesouth
  • Score: 12

1:26pm Wed 5 Feb 14

acid drop says...

Why do blue badge holders get free parking ? I'm a pensioner on a fixed income but I still have to pay to park, blue badge holders should also pay their way.
Why do blue badge holders get free parking ? I'm a pensioner on a fixed income but I still have to pay to park, blue badge holders should also pay their way. acid drop
  • Score: 5

3:03pm Wed 5 Feb 14

jonone says...

acid drop wrote:
Why do blue badge holders get free parking ? I'm a pensioner on a fixed income but I still have to pay to park, blue badge holders should also pay their way.
I agree. There are plenty of disabled people who get free parking and access to subsidised Motorbility vehicles, all whilst holding down full time paid jobs. Should be means tested.
[quote][p][bold]acid drop[/bold] wrote: Why do blue badge holders get free parking ? I'm a pensioner on a fixed income but I still have to pay to park, blue badge holders should also pay their way.[/p][/quote]I agree. There are plenty of disabled people who get free parking and access to subsidised Motorbility vehicles, all whilst holding down full time paid jobs. Should be means tested. jonone
  • Score: 3

4:25pm Wed 5 Feb 14

camerajuan says...

thesouth wrote:
I don't understand why it is free??
I can see both sides of the arguement but it shouldn't be totally free. Subsidised at best.

If you can afford a car when you're disabled you should be able to pay for your own parking. Thats not discriminatory, thats logic.
[quote][p][bold]thesouth[/bold] wrote: I don't understand why it is free??[/p][/quote]I can see both sides of the arguement but it shouldn't be totally free. Subsidised at best. If you can afford a car when you're disabled you should be able to pay for your own parking. Thats not discriminatory, thats logic. camerajuan
  • Score: 4

4:45pm Wed 5 Feb 14

forest hump says...

I hold a blue badge and see no reason why I should not pay as others do. Having some kind of disability should not give you financial privilege over able bodied folks. I have an issue with parking fees in the base case. A function of greedy, ill-managed councils. My pet peeve is having to feed parking machines which display the words "no change given" When I went to school that was called theft. I would love nothing more than someone to challenge this fraudulent behaviour in a Court of Law. I'm sure the weasels would somehow worm out of this practice.
I hold a blue badge and see no reason why I should not pay as others do. Having some kind of disability should not give you financial privilege over able bodied folks. I have an issue with parking fees in the base case. A function of greedy, ill-managed councils. My pet peeve is having to feed parking machines which display the words "no change given" When I went to school that was called theft. I would love nothing more than someone to challenge this fraudulent behaviour in a Court of Law. I'm sure the weasels would somehow worm out of this practice. forest hump
  • Score: 2

5:15pm Wed 5 Feb 14

BeyondImagination says...

There was a recent court case in Barnet that found the local authority's plan to impose charges on a small group of motorists was unlawful. Councils are only allowed to impose charges to alleviate or prevent congestion and they cannot be used just to raise revenue.

The case for not charging blue badge holders was put to NFDC by experienced disability groups who are very aware of the difficulties blue badge holders would face if charges were imposed. NFDC chose to largely ignore the representations.

Charging blue badge holders would increase congestion, not reduce it so could well have been found to be unlawful. NFDC would have had to invest about £250,000 to make ticket machines accessible, change signs and other associated costs. Quite a risk to raise about £50,000 a year.

Low income is only one factor in not charging blue badge holders. Many disabled people have limited opportunity to park, often not being able to use on street parking if rear access in needed to unload wheelchairs. Some disabled people cannot put coins into ticket machines. Generally disabled people take much longer to carry out every day activities, so charging blue badge holders the same to park leaves them disadvantaged which is unlawful. Concessions to compensate for the extra time required reduce the potential financial case for charging to a point where it becomes uneconomic to incur the additional costs to make it possible and lawful.
There was a recent court case in Barnet that found the local authority's plan to impose charges on a small group of motorists was unlawful. Councils are only allowed to impose charges to alleviate or prevent congestion and they cannot be used just to raise revenue. The case for not charging blue badge holders was put to NFDC by experienced disability groups who are very aware of the difficulties blue badge holders would face if charges were imposed. NFDC chose to largely ignore the representations. Charging blue badge holders would increase congestion, not reduce it so could well have been found to be unlawful. NFDC would have had to invest about £250,000 to make ticket machines accessible, change signs and other associated costs. Quite a risk to raise about £50,000 a year. Low income is only one factor in not charging blue badge holders. Many disabled people have limited opportunity to park, often not being able to use on street parking if rear access in needed to unload wheelchairs. Some disabled people cannot put coins into ticket machines. Generally disabled people take much longer to carry out every day activities, so charging blue badge holders the same to park leaves them disadvantaged which is unlawful. Concessions to compensate for the extra time required reduce the potential financial case for charging to a point where it becomes uneconomic to incur the additional costs to make it possible and lawful. BeyondImagination
  • Score: -1

5:19pm Wed 5 Feb 14

BeyondImagination says...

forest hump wrote:
I hold a blue badge and see no reason why I should not pay as others do. Having some kind of disability should not give you financial privilege over able bodied folks. I have an issue with parking fees in the base case. A function of greedy, ill-managed councils. My pet peeve is having to feed parking machines which display the words "no change given" When I went to school that was called theft. I would love nothing more than someone to challenge this fraudulent behaviour in a Court of Law. I'm sure the weasels would somehow worm out of this practice.
There is nothing to stop you from paying if you feel it is unfair to not pay, as long as you can access the ticket machines.
[quote][p][bold]forest hump[/bold] wrote: I hold a blue badge and see no reason why I should not pay as others do. Having some kind of disability should not give you financial privilege over able bodied folks. I have an issue with parking fees in the base case. A function of greedy, ill-managed councils. My pet peeve is having to feed parking machines which display the words "no change given" When I went to school that was called theft. I would love nothing more than someone to challenge this fraudulent behaviour in a Court of Law. I'm sure the weasels would somehow worm out of this practice.[/p][/quote]There is nothing to stop you from paying if you feel it is unfair to not pay, as long as you can access the ticket machines. BeyondImagination
  • Score: 7

6:39pm Wed 5 Feb 14

forest hump says...

BeyondImagination wrote:
forest hump wrote:
I hold a blue badge and see no reason why I should not pay as others do. Having some kind of disability should not give you financial privilege over able bodied folks. I have an issue with parking fees in the base case. A function of greedy, ill-managed councils. My pet peeve is having to feed parking machines which display the words "no change given" When I went to school that was called theft. I would love nothing more than someone to challenge this fraudulent behaviour in a Court of Law. I'm sure the weasels would somehow worm out of this practice.
There is nothing to stop you from paying if you feel it is unfair to not pay, as long as you can access the ticket machines.
Where does it say I do not pay?? I specifically said " I see no reason why I should not pay" I do not agree with payment but I do not expect any favours above anyone else.
[quote][p][bold]BeyondImagination[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]forest hump[/bold] wrote: I hold a blue badge and see no reason why I should not pay as others do. Having some kind of disability should not give you financial privilege over able bodied folks. I have an issue with parking fees in the base case. A function of greedy, ill-managed councils. My pet peeve is having to feed parking machines which display the words "no change given" When I went to school that was called theft. I would love nothing more than someone to challenge this fraudulent behaviour in a Court of Law. I'm sure the weasels would somehow worm out of this practice.[/p][/quote]There is nothing to stop you from paying if you feel it is unfair to not pay, as long as you can access the ticket machines.[/p][/quote]Where does it say I do not pay?? I specifically said " I see no reason why I should not pay" I do not agree with payment but I do not expect any favours above anyone else. forest hump
  • Score: -3

9:29pm Wed 5 Feb 14

BeyondImagination says...

forest hump wrote:
BeyondImagination wrote:
forest hump wrote:
I hold a blue badge and see no reason why I should not pay as others do. Having some kind of disability should not give you financial privilege over able bodied folks. I have an issue with parking fees in the base case. A function of greedy, ill-managed councils. My pet peeve is having to feed parking machines which display the words "no change given" When I went to school that was called theft. I would love nothing more than someone to challenge this fraudulent behaviour in a Court of Law. I'm sure the weasels would somehow worm out of this practice.
There is nothing to stop you from paying if you feel it is unfair to not pay, as long as you can access the ticket machines.
Where does it say I do not pay?? I specifically said " I see no reason why I should not pay" I do not agree with payment but I do not expect any favours above anyone else.
There's no financial privilege in disability. Being able to see beyond one's own situation in a non-judgemental way is a rare quality.
Disabled people have additional costs. DLA is awarded to those with the most restricted mobility. Without DLA many disabled people would not be able to have a car, particularly when they need to carry wheelchairs or scooters.
[quote][p][bold]forest hump[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BeyondImagination[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]forest hump[/bold] wrote: I hold a blue badge and see no reason why I should not pay as others do. Having some kind of disability should not give you financial privilege over able bodied folks. I have an issue with parking fees in the base case. A function of greedy, ill-managed councils. My pet peeve is having to feed parking machines which display the words "no change given" When I went to school that was called theft. I would love nothing more than someone to challenge this fraudulent behaviour in a Court of Law. I'm sure the weasels would somehow worm out of this practice.[/p][/quote]There is nothing to stop you from paying if you feel it is unfair to not pay, as long as you can access the ticket machines.[/p][/quote]Where does it say I do not pay?? I specifically said " I see no reason why I should not pay" I do not agree with payment but I do not expect any favours above anyone else.[/p][/quote]There's no financial privilege in disability. Being able to see beyond one's own situation in a non-judgemental way is a rare quality. Disabled people have additional costs. DLA is awarded to those with the most restricted mobility. Without DLA many disabled people would not be able to have a car, particularly when they need to carry wheelchairs or scooters. BeyondImagination
  • Score: 4

12:17am Thu 6 Feb 14

exforester says...

Well, if they can get their cars down the extremely pot-holed tracks leading to the Forest car parks - good luck to them!!
Well, if they can get their cars down the extremely pot-holed tracks leading to the Forest car parks - good luck to them!! exforester
  • Score: 0

12:30am Thu 6 Feb 14

BeyondImagination says...

exforester wrote:
Well, if they can get their cars down the extremely pot-holed tracks leading to the Forest car parks - good luck to them!!
The report relates to NFDC car parks in the forest towns, villages and coast. Not Forestry Commission car parks.
[quote][p][bold]exforester[/bold] wrote: Well, if they can get their cars down the extremely pot-holed tracks leading to the Forest car parks - good luck to them!![/p][/quote]The report relates to NFDC car parks in the forest towns, villages and coast. Not Forestry Commission car parks. BeyondImagination
  • Score: 0

9:09am Thu 6 Feb 14

Linesman says...

thesouth wrote:
I don't understand why it is free??
Maybe if you were disabled, you Would understand.
[quote][p][bold]thesouth[/bold] wrote: I don't understand why it is free??[/p][/quote]Maybe if you were disabled, you Would understand. Linesman
  • Score: 0

9:12am Thu 6 Feb 14

Linesman says...

acid drop wrote:
Why do blue badge holders get free parking ? I'm a pensioner on a fixed income but I still have to pay to park, blue badge holders should also pay their way.
In that case, count yourself fortunate that you are not disabled.

Had it never crossed your mind that disabled people are not disabled by choice?

Have you never thought that they would willingly swap their disability Blue Badge, for your good health and fitness?

Count yourself lucky that you are not in need of a Blue Badge.
[quote][p][bold]acid drop[/bold] wrote: Why do blue badge holders get free parking ? I'm a pensioner on a fixed income but I still have to pay to park, blue badge holders should also pay their way.[/p][/quote]In that case, count yourself fortunate that you are not disabled. Had it never crossed your mind that disabled people are not disabled by choice? Have you never thought that they would willingly swap their disability Blue Badge, for your good health and fitness? Count yourself lucky that you are not in need of a Blue Badge. Linesman
  • Score: 0

10:01am Thu 6 Feb 14

camerajuan says...

Linesman wrote:
thesouth wrote:
I don't understand why it is free??
Maybe if you were disabled, you Would understand.
Forest Hump is and he doesn't think he should get free parking.

I think I'll side with personal experience based opinions rather than speculative ones. Silly really, but hey ho!
[quote][p][bold]Linesman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]thesouth[/bold] wrote: I don't understand why it is free??[/p][/quote]Maybe if you were disabled, you Would understand.[/p][/quote]Forest Hump is and he doesn't think he should get free parking. I think I'll side with personal experience based opinions rather than speculative ones. Silly really, but hey ho! camerajuan
  • Score: 1

10:55am Thu 6 Feb 14

BeyondImagination says...

Pensioner who is not disabled can hop on a bus, cycle or walk. Try doing that in a wheelchair.
Pensioner who is not disabled can hop on a bus, cycle or walk. Try doing that in a wheelchair. BeyondImagination
  • Score: 0

11:10am Thu 6 Feb 14

camerajuan says...

BeyondImagination wrote:
Pensioner who is not disabled can hop on a bus, cycle or walk. Try doing that in a wheelchair.
Wheelchair access on buses - invalid point.
Already on wheels therefore no need to cycle - invalid point.
Cannot walk as in wheelchair - invalid point.

What were you trying to prove/suggest?

Give (Sir) David Weir a call and see if he thinks being in a wheelchair has held him back.
[quote][p][bold]BeyondImagination[/bold] wrote: Pensioner who is not disabled can hop on a bus, cycle or walk. Try doing that in a wheelchair.[/p][/quote]Wheelchair access on buses - invalid point. Already on wheels therefore no need to cycle - invalid point. Cannot walk as in wheelchair - invalid point. What were you trying to prove/suggest? Give (Sir) David Weir a call and see if he thinks being in a wheelchair has held him back. camerajuan
  • Score: -2

11:39am Thu 6 Feb 14

Frogham Ferret says...

Perhaps they could be better policed though.

I have frequently seen large new 4x4's park in these spaces where the driver appears to have no handicap at all, except perhaps the inability to read.
There is clearly abuse of the system by some while other handicapped folk are unable to get such a badge
Perhaps they could be better policed though. I have frequently seen large new 4x4's park in these spaces where the driver appears to have no handicap at all, except perhaps the inability to read. There is clearly abuse of the system by some while other handicapped folk are unable to get such a badge Frogham Ferret
  • Score: 0

12:45pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Linesman says...

Frogham Ferret wrote:
Perhaps they could be better policed though.

I have frequently seen large new 4x4's park in these spaces where the driver appears to have no handicap at all, except perhaps the inability to read.
There is clearly abuse of the system by some while other handicapped folk are unable to get such a badge
Did you look to see whether there was a passenger with a disability.

It is the person that is issued the blue badge, not the means of transport.
[quote][p][bold]Frogham Ferret[/bold] wrote: Perhaps they could be better policed though. I have frequently seen large new 4x4's park in these spaces where the driver appears to have no handicap at all, except perhaps the inability to read. There is clearly abuse of the system by some while other handicapped folk are unable to get such a badge[/p][/quote]Did you look to see whether there was a passenger with a disability. It is the person that is issued the blue badge, not the means of transport. Linesman
  • Score: 0

5:33pm Thu 6 Feb 14

BeyondImagination says...

camerajuan wrote:
BeyondImagination wrote:
Pensioner who is not disabled can hop on a bus, cycle or walk. Try doing that in a wheelchair.
Wheelchair access on buses - invalid point.
Already on wheels therefore no need to cycle - invalid point.
Cannot walk as in wheelchair - invalid point.

What were you trying to prove/suggest?

Give (Sir) David Weir a call and see if he thinks being in a wheelchair has held him back.
If you would like to try a day out in a wheelchair, let me know and I'll fix it. You'll get the point quick enough.
[quote][p][bold]camerajuan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BeyondImagination[/bold] wrote: Pensioner who is not disabled can hop on a bus, cycle or walk. Try doing that in a wheelchair.[/p][/quote]Wheelchair access on buses - invalid point. Already on wheels therefore no need to cycle - invalid point. Cannot walk as in wheelchair - invalid point. What were you trying to prove/suggest? Give (Sir) David Weir a call and see if he thinks being in a wheelchair has held him back.[/p][/quote]If you would like to try a day out in a wheelchair, let me know and I'll fix it. You'll get the point quick enough. BeyondImagination
  • Score: 0

5:38pm Thu 6 Feb 14

BeyondImagination says...

Frogham Ferret wrote:
Perhaps they could be better policed though.

I have frequently seen large new 4x4's park in these spaces where the driver appears to have no handicap at all, except perhaps the inability to read.
There is clearly abuse of the system by some while other handicapped folk are unable to get such a badge
There is abuse of the blue badge scheme. Are you suggesting disabled people should be penalised because non-disabled people abuse it. How sick that would be.
[quote][p][bold]Frogham Ferret[/bold] wrote: Perhaps they could be better policed though. I have frequently seen large new 4x4's park in these spaces where the driver appears to have no handicap at all, except perhaps the inability to read. There is clearly abuse of the system by some while other handicapped folk are unable to get such a badge[/p][/quote]There is abuse of the blue badge scheme. Are you suggesting disabled people should be penalised because non-disabled people abuse it. How sick that would be. BeyondImagination
  • Score: 0

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