WHENEVER there are changes, there is always opposition.

And, not surprisingly, that is the case regarding proposed new car parking regulations in Skipton.

Craven District Council wants to remove current confusion about disabled parking – by introducing charges.

It says at the moment some blue badge holders get three hours' free parking, while others, unable to find a designated disabled parking bay, have to pay the usual fees.

So, to eliminate the feeling of unfairness, it has decided all blue badges holders will have to pay the standard charges, but will get an additional hour thrown in to allow them more time to get around.

And the badge holders will not have to park in disabled bays to take advantage of the scheme. They can park in any space in the car park.

However, the move has alienated some of the very people it is supposed to help.

When the idea was discussed early last year, the Skipton and Craven Multiple Sclerosis Society and Skipton and Craven Action for Disability (SCAD) claimed the council was acting illegally and launched an online petition.

Protestor Wendy Witten said the charges would discourage disabled people from taking part in community and public life, and would add to their isolation and exclusion.

Now, with the charges due to be introduced in January, former town councillor, John Manley, has added his voice to the clamour of opposition.

He says the charges will make it more difficult to visit Skipton, which is already challenging with its cobbled setts, and people might decide to go elsewhere.

While the move has not been highlighted as a money-making proposal, the council last year estimated an additional £30,000 per year would be generated by introducing charging.

We are all for equality, but only time will tell whether the proposals have the desired effect.