Disabled groups call on Craven District Council to keep free parking

Craven District Council is attempting to introduce car parking charges for disabled drivers

Craven District Council is attempting to introduce car parking charges for disabled drivers

First published in News

Disabled groups have called on Craven District Council to reverse plans to scrap free parking for blue badge holders.

The Skipton and Craven Multiple Sclerosis Society and Skipton and Craven Action for Disability (SCAD) say the council has acted illegally in its attempt to charge disabled drivers in its car parks.

And the groups, who have launched an online petition which has attracted more than 250 signatures, are promising further action if their demands are not met.

Wendy Witten, spokesman for the groups, told last Tuesday’s policy committee meeting of the council that the proposed charging policy was discriminatory and would contravene laws.

“This policy would ignore the needs of blue badge holders. It would discourage them from taking part in community and public life and would add to their isolation and exclusion,” she said.

Mrs Witten said blue badge holders were amongst the most severely disabled members of society and had fewer opportunities.

“They have difficulty using public transport and cannot benefit from cheaper parking available to others,” she said.

As a result, they were unable to take advantage of concessionary fares and free travel passes and short-term parking concessions.

They also missed out on cheaper car parks away from town centres, free parking before 9am and free parking on Skipton High Street because of the difficulty of negotiating setts.

“All these can be out of the question, impractical or even dangerous. Blue badge holders rely on their cars and using safe council car parks is often their only in-town parking option,” she said.

Mrs Witten further accused the council of failing in its public sector equality duty.

“The Equality Act imposes a public sector equality duty on councils to take the needs of disabled people into account and the council’s proposed policy does not do this,” she said.

Mrs Witten was told by council leader Coun Chris Knowles-Fitton (Cons) that her comments would be taken into account by officers.

In November last year, the council approved the removal of free parking concessions for holders of blue badges in its car parks.

Critics of the plans said charging would result in disabled drivers parking on double yellow lines and blocking routes through the town.

The council estimated an additional £30,000 per year would be generated by introducing charging.

Charging is subject to approval by North Yorkshire County Council, the highways authority, and was at the time estimated to take around six months.

Meanwhile, copies of the petition are available at SCAD shops in Newmarket Street, Skipton and in Ilkley, or on the MS group’s Facebook page.

Comments (13)

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10:50am Thu 30 Jan 14

cosmiccrow says...

I'm bookmarking this page can't wait til the local nutters read this story
I'm bookmarking this page can't wait til the local nutters read this story cosmiccrow
  • Score: 11

10:51am Thu 30 Jan 14

Skipton Ratepayer says...

Before there is a storm of comments about those who abuse blue badges, please remember that those who need them really DO need the designated spaces, not only for being near to their destination but mostly for the room around the car. Those who casually these spaces and don't need them should be heavily penalised.
Before there is a storm of comments about those who abuse blue badges, please remember that those who need them really DO need the designated spaces, not only for being near to their destination but mostly for the room around the car. Those who casually these spaces and don't need them should be heavily penalised. Skipton Ratepayer
  • Score: 11

11:09am Thu 30 Jan 14

Skiptomaloo says...

Too right! It also takes longer to get around, cross the road and do things so BBHs need more time. Please sign the e-petition.
https://www.change.o
rg/petitions/craven-
district-council-ski
pton-north-yorkshire
-england-to-cancel-i
ts-proposed-policy-t
o-charge-blue-badge-
holders-for-parking-
in-council-car-parks
#
Too right! It also takes longer to get around, cross the road and do things so BBHs need more time. Please sign the e-petition. https://www.change.o rg/petitions/craven- district-council-ski pton-north-yorkshire -england-to-cancel-i ts-proposed-policy-t o-charge-blue-badge- holders-for-parking- in-council-car-parks # Skiptomaloo
  • Score: 5

2:09pm Thu 30 Jan 14

John wh says...

CDC still trying to increase general revenue by using the parking charges cash cow?
Louise Ellman, the chairman of the House of Commons Transport Committee, has said the use of parking charges and fines specifically to raise revenue was "neither acceptable nor legal".
CDC still trying to increase general revenue by using the parking charges cash cow? Louise Ellman, the chairman of the House of Commons Transport Committee, has said the use of parking charges and fines specifically to raise revenue was "neither acceptable nor legal". John wh
  • Score: 13

7:03pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Mart56 says...

Skipton Ratepayer wrote:
Before there is a storm of comments about those who abuse blue badges, please remember that those who need them really DO need the designated spaces, not only for being near to their destination but mostly for the room around the car. Those who casually these spaces and don't need them should be heavily penalised.
Absolutely agree about the need for dedicated spaces. However, whether or not to charge is not as clear cut. There are blue badge holders who rely on their cars and can't afford parking charges. There are also many blue badge holders who can afford to pay. There are able bodied drivers who rely on their cars because there is no public transport and can't afford to pay. So a couple of options are to make parking free for all or provide means tested parking permits. Does anyone have an answer that will make everyone happy? If so please put yourself forward as a candidate at the next local or general election!
[quote][p][bold]Skipton Ratepayer[/bold] wrote: Before there is a storm of comments about those who abuse blue badges, please remember that those who need them really DO need the designated spaces, not only for being near to their destination but mostly for the room around the car. Those who casually these spaces and don't need them should be heavily penalised.[/p][/quote]Absolutely agree about the need for dedicated spaces. However, whether or not to charge is not as clear cut. There are blue badge holders who rely on their cars and can't afford parking charges. There are also many blue badge holders who can afford to pay. There are able bodied drivers who rely on their cars because there is no public transport and can't afford to pay. So a couple of options are to make parking free for all or provide means tested parking permits. Does anyone have an answer that will make everyone happy? If so please put yourself forward as a candidate at the next local or general election! Mart56
  • Score: -9

8:59am Tue 4 Feb 14

Skiptomaloo says...

Mart56 wrote:
Skipton Ratepayer wrote:
Before there is a storm of comments about those who abuse blue badges, please remember that those who need them really DO need the designated spaces, not only for being near to their destination but mostly for the room around the car. Those who casually these spaces and don't need them should be heavily penalised.
Absolutely agree about the need for dedicated spaces. However, whether or not to charge is not as clear cut. There are blue badge holders who rely on their cars and can't afford parking charges. There are also many blue badge holders who can afford to pay. There are able bodied drivers who rely on their cars because there is no public transport and can't afford to pay. So a couple of options are to make parking free for all or provide means tested parking permits. Does anyone have an answer that will make everyone happy? If so please put yourself forward as a candidate at the next local or general election!
Mart56. Some good points there. There are rich pensioners who get free bus passes, free TV licences, cold weather bonuses and a pension off the state when they need none of these. Perhaps they should be means-tested too. These issues and that of the need for more buses in our area are different issues and shouldn't cloud this debate.

Many blue badge holders would be happy to pay a fair charge, but why should they be forced to pay the most expensive charges (Town hall car park) when others can pay half as much because they can use car parks further away (Coach Street, Cavendish Street).
We are supposed to live in a caring society that values everyone in it. Although sometimes I wonder.
[quote][p][bold]Mart56[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Skipton Ratepayer[/bold] wrote: Before there is a storm of comments about those who abuse blue badges, please remember that those who need them really DO need the designated spaces, not only for being near to their destination but mostly for the room around the car. Those who casually these spaces and don't need them should be heavily penalised.[/p][/quote]Absolutely agree about the need for dedicated spaces. However, whether or not to charge is not as clear cut. There are blue badge holders who rely on their cars and can't afford parking charges. There are also many blue badge holders who can afford to pay. There are able bodied drivers who rely on their cars because there is no public transport and can't afford to pay. So a couple of options are to make parking free for all or provide means tested parking permits. Does anyone have an answer that will make everyone happy? If so please put yourself forward as a candidate at the next local or general election![/p][/quote]Mart56. Some good points there. There are rich pensioners who get free bus passes, free TV licences, cold weather bonuses and a pension off the state when they need none of these. Perhaps they should be means-tested too. These issues and that of the need for more buses in our area are different issues and shouldn't cloud this debate. Many blue badge holders would be happy to pay a fair charge, but why should they be forced to pay the most expensive charges (Town hall car park) when others can pay half as much because they can use car parks further away (Coach Street, Cavendish Street). We are supposed to live in a caring society that values everyone in it. Although sometimes I wonder. Skiptomaloo
  • Score: 0

4:46pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Frealism says...

Oh dear people wanting to introduce a means tested system that in itself will be expensive to run and administer and in time will be accused of being unjust/corrupt with an appeals system. Bottom line is any system can and will be abused. People seem to have lost sight of the original concept behind helping those that have a disability sometimes that involves a generalisation of financial help because of the vast financial limitations and physical/mental limitations disability brings with it for most. You cannot introduce micro managed situations that are expensive to run and are used as a stick to beat and harass an already disadvantaged group. Yes there will be those that can afford but the numbers that cannot afford this and the severe and crippling impact it has on them compared to able bodied people that cant afford is overwhelming and is the majority rather than the minority. We do seem to be in an era of milking the disabled of rights and beating them down and into 2nd class members of society. If you cant see how an 'able' person who cant afford parking has options vastly superior to those that are in a similar fiscal situation that have a disability have then you will never understand any disabled issues or the complications/proble
ms/restrictions/limi
tations not to mention the problems of dealing with people that can't or won't help because of a disability then I hope that one day they really don.t have to be made to understand through accident/injury/ill heath or just plain old age. And if you think people that are able bodied that have financial limitations should be getting the same help with these costs then that is a separate issue and something you should be fighting for not used as an issue to obscure,divide and put down those that desperately need help.
Oh dear people wanting to introduce a means tested system that in itself will be expensive to run and administer and in time will be accused of being unjust/corrupt with an appeals system. Bottom line is any system can and will be abused. People seem to have lost sight of the original concept behind helping those that have a disability sometimes that involves a generalisation of financial help because of the vast financial limitations and physical/mental limitations disability brings with it for most. You cannot introduce micro managed situations that are expensive to run and are used as a stick to beat and harass an already disadvantaged group. Yes there will be those that can afford but the numbers that cannot afford this and the severe and crippling impact it has on them compared to able bodied people that cant afford is overwhelming and is the majority rather than the minority. We do seem to be in an era of milking the disabled of rights and beating them down and into 2nd class members of society. If you cant see how an 'able' person who cant afford parking has options vastly superior to those that are in a similar fiscal situation that have a disability have then you will never understand any disabled issues or the complications/proble ms/restrictions/limi tations not to mention the problems of dealing with people that can't or won't help because of a disability then I hope that one day they really don.t have to be made to understand through accident/injury/ill heath or just plain old age. And if you think people that are able bodied that have financial limitations should be getting the same help with these costs then that is a separate issue and something you should be fighting for not used as an issue to obscure,divide and put down those that desperately need help. Frealism
  • Score: 4

6:43pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Mart56 says...

Frealism, thank you for perfectly illustrating my point about the difficulty of finding a solution that makes everyone happy. As it happens I agree that imeans testing is a non starter for the reasons you stated. However making parking free for all is a possibility and can in no way be construed to be anti any group. I assume your lengthy comments about "people" were directed partly or wholly at me which I find at best unfair as you know nothing about me or my knowledge of the hardships of many disabilitites.
Frealism, thank you for perfectly illustrating my point about the difficulty of finding a solution that makes everyone happy. As it happens I agree that imeans testing is a non starter for the reasons you stated. However making parking free for all is a possibility and can in no way be construed to be anti any group. I assume your lengthy comments about "people" were directed partly or wholly at me which I find at best unfair as you know nothing about me or my knowledge of the hardships of many disabilitites. Mart56
  • Score: -4

8:21am Wed 5 Feb 14

Skiptomaloo says...

Mart56 wrote:
Frealism, thank you for perfectly illustrating my point about the difficulty of finding a solution that makes everyone happy. As it happens I agree that imeans testing is a non starter for the reasons you stated. However making parking free for all is a possibility and can in no way be construed to be anti any group. I assume your lengthy comments about "people" were directed partly or wholly at me which I find at best unfair as you know nothing about me or my knowledge of the hardships of many disabilitites.
Mart56: I agree with Freaslism. I'm sure he wasn't attacking you personally about the negative attitudes to disability which disabled people meet with almost every time they go out. Just last week I was told in SKipton "these people are always getting in the way and causing obstructions." Partly to blame are press, policies and TV programmes that portray disabled groups scroungers and parasites on society. CDC's threat to remove parking concessions goes along with this. Regrettably not many disabled people are in a position to or able to defend themselves. Or they have become demoralised by fighting for everything that should be theirs by right.
[quote][p][bold]Mart56[/bold] wrote: Frealism, thank you for perfectly illustrating my point about the difficulty of finding a solution that makes everyone happy. As it happens I agree that imeans testing is a non starter for the reasons you stated. However making parking free for all is a possibility and can in no way be construed to be anti any group. I assume your lengthy comments about "people" were directed partly or wholly at me which I find at best unfair as you know nothing about me or my knowledge of the hardships of many disabilitites.[/p][/quote]Mart56: I agree with Freaslism. I'm sure he wasn't attacking you personally about the negative attitudes to disability which disabled people meet with almost every time they go out. Just last week I was told in SKipton "these people are always getting in the way and causing obstructions." Partly to blame are press, policies and TV programmes that portray disabled groups scroungers and parasites on society. CDC's threat to remove parking concessions goes along with this. Regrettably not many disabled people are in a position to or able to defend themselves. Or they have become demoralised by fighting for everything that should be theirs by right. Skiptomaloo
  • Score: 4

6:19pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Mart56 says...

So far the only figure I have seen quoted in this argument is the council's estimate of a £30000 increase.in revenue. As I am always very sceptical of figures used to justify changes I have started to do my own research. I can't find any evidence of a cost benefit analysis on the CDC website. Maybe I haven't looked in the right place, or they haven't done one or they don't want to publish it. Anyway I've found enough info to work out the cost to a disabled person per visit but to work out the potential benefit to CDC I need someone to tell me 2 things - how many blue badge parking bays are there in the Town Hall car park and what is a typical length of stay for blue badge holders? Once I get that information I will let you know my conclusions.
So far the only figure I have seen quoted in this argument is the council's estimate of a £30000 increase.in revenue. As I am always very sceptical of figures used to justify changes I have started to do my own research. I can't find any evidence of a cost benefit analysis on the CDC website. Maybe I haven't looked in the right place, or they haven't done one or they don't want to publish it. Anyway I've found enough info to work out the cost to a disabled person per visit but to work out the potential benefit to CDC I need someone to tell me 2 things - how many blue badge parking bays are there in the Town Hall car park and what is a typical length of stay for blue badge holders? Once I get that information I will let you know my conclusions. Mart56
  • Score: -2

6:49pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Skiptomaloo says...

Mart56 wrote:
So far the only figure I have seen quoted in this argument is the council's estimate of a £30000 increase.in revenue. As I am always very sceptical of figures used to justify changes I have started to do my own research. I can't find any evidence of a cost benefit analysis on the CDC website. Maybe I haven't looked in the right place, or they haven't done one or they don't want to publish it. Anyway I've found enough info to work out the cost to a disabled person per visit but to work out the potential benefit to CDC I need someone to tell me 2 things - how many blue badge parking bays are there in the Town Hall car park and what is a typical length of stay for blue badge holders? Once I get that information I will let you know my conclusions.
I don't know where all this is leading ... The issue is not about how much money blue badge holders can be milked for, rather than their right to have their needs to be respected and CDC to abide by its statutory duties and the vulnerable sector of our society protected.
[quote][p][bold]Mart56[/bold] wrote: So far the only figure I have seen quoted in this argument is the council's estimate of a £30000 increase.in revenue. As I am always very sceptical of figures used to justify changes I have started to do my own research. I can't find any evidence of a cost benefit analysis on the CDC website. Maybe I haven't looked in the right place, or they haven't done one or they don't want to publish it. Anyway I've found enough info to work out the cost to a disabled person per visit but to work out the potential benefit to CDC I need someone to tell me 2 things - how many blue badge parking bays are there in the Town Hall car park and what is a typical length of stay for blue badge holders? Once I get that information I will let you know my conclusions.[/p][/quote]I don't know where all this is leading ... The issue is not about how much money blue badge holders can be milked for, rather than their right to have their needs to be respected and CDC to abide by its statutory duties and the vulnerable sector of our society protected. Skiptomaloo
  • Score: 1

8:31pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Mart56 says...

Skiptomaloo wrote:
Mart56 wrote:
So far the only figure I have seen quoted in this argument is the council's estimate of a £30000 increase.in revenue. As I am always very sceptical of figures used to justify changes I have started to do my own research. I can't find any evidence of a cost benefit analysis on the CDC website. Maybe I haven't looked in the right place, or they haven't done one or they don't want to publish it. Anyway I've found enough info to work out the cost to a disabled person per visit but to work out the potential benefit to CDC I need someone to tell me 2 things - how many blue badge parking bays are there in the Town Hall car park and what is a typical length of stay for blue badge holders? Once I get that information I will let you know my conclusions.
I don't know where all this is leading ... The issue is not about how much money blue badge holders can be milked for, rather than their right to have their needs to be respected and CDC to abide by its statutory duties and the vulnerable sector of our society protected.
It was leading to me coming up with some facts which might help in your efforts to persuade the council that they are wrong and be in a position to suggest alternative ways the council could raise £30000 in added revenue which might be acceptable to all. However it is obvious from some of the comments that the only argument you wish to use is that people don't care about the disabled so I won't waste any more effort.
[quote][p][bold]Skiptomaloo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mart56[/bold] wrote: So far the only figure I have seen quoted in this argument is the council's estimate of a £30000 increase.in revenue. As I am always very sceptical of figures used to justify changes I have started to do my own research. I can't find any evidence of a cost benefit analysis on the CDC website. Maybe I haven't looked in the right place, or they haven't done one or they don't want to publish it. Anyway I've found enough info to work out the cost to a disabled person per visit but to work out the potential benefit to CDC I need someone to tell me 2 things - how many blue badge parking bays are there in the Town Hall car park and what is a typical length of stay for blue badge holders? Once I get that information I will let you know my conclusions.[/p][/quote]I don't know where all this is leading ... The issue is not about how much money blue badge holders can be milked for, rather than their right to have their needs to be respected and CDC to abide by its statutory duties and the vulnerable sector of our society protected.[/p][/quote]It was leading to me coming up with some facts which might help in your efforts to persuade the council that they are wrong and be in a position to suggest alternative ways the council could raise £30000 in added revenue which might be acceptable to all. However it is obvious from some of the comments that the only argument you wish to use is that people don't care about the disabled so I won't waste any more effort. Mart56
  • Score: 0

9:54am Thu 6 Feb 14

Skiptomaloo says...

Mart56 wrote:
Skiptomaloo wrote:
Mart56 wrote:
So far the only figure I have seen quoted in this argument is the council's estimate of a £30000 increase.in revenue. As I am always very sceptical of figures used to justify changes I have started to do my own research. I can't find any evidence of a cost benefit analysis on the CDC website. Maybe I haven't looked in the right place, or they haven't done one or they don't want to publish it. Anyway I've found enough info to work out the cost to a disabled person per visit but to work out the potential benefit to CDC I need someone to tell me 2 things - how many blue badge parking bays are there in the Town Hall car park and what is a typical length of stay for blue badge holders? Once I get that information I will let you know my conclusions.
I don't know where all this is leading ... The issue is not about how much money blue badge holders can be milked for, rather than their right to have their needs to be respected and CDC to abide by its statutory duties and the vulnerable sector of our society protected.
It was leading to me coming up with some facts which might help in your efforts to persuade the council that they are wrong and be in a position to suggest alternative ways the council could raise £30000 in added revenue which might be acceptable to all. However it is obvious from some of the comments that the only argument you wish to use is that people don't care about the disabled so I won't waste any more effort.
What would your alternative solution be?
[quote][p][bold]Mart56[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Skiptomaloo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mart56[/bold] wrote: So far the only figure I have seen quoted in this argument is the council's estimate of a £30000 increase.in revenue. As I am always very sceptical of figures used to justify changes I have started to do my own research. I can't find any evidence of a cost benefit analysis on the CDC website. Maybe I haven't looked in the right place, or they haven't done one or they don't want to publish it. Anyway I've found enough info to work out the cost to a disabled person per visit but to work out the potential benefit to CDC I need someone to tell me 2 things - how many blue badge parking bays are there in the Town Hall car park and what is a typical length of stay for blue badge holders? Once I get that information I will let you know my conclusions.[/p][/quote]I don't know where all this is leading ... The issue is not about how much money blue badge holders can be milked for, rather than their right to have their needs to be respected and CDC to abide by its statutory duties and the vulnerable sector of our society protected.[/p][/quote]It was leading to me coming up with some facts which might help in your efforts to persuade the council that they are wrong and be in a position to suggest alternative ways the council could raise £30000 in added revenue which might be acceptable to all. However it is obvious from some of the comments that the only argument you wish to use is that people don't care about the disabled so I won't waste any more effort.[/p][/quote]What would your alternative solution be? Skiptomaloo
  • Score: 0

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