The council says that free parking is still available for “those who need it most”
Waverley Borough Council has been accused of being “mean-spirited” for introducing new charges which mean that blue badge holders will now have to pay for parking.
The council implemented parking charges for blue badge holders on Monday (April 3).
Disability Rights deputy chief executive Sue Bott believes the policy is unfair for blue badge holders and pointed out many rely on using their own car as accessibility for public transport remains an issue.
“Whilst it is not illegal for the council to charge blue badge holders the same as anyone else for parking it is certainly mean-spirited,” she said.
“Many blue badge holders have no alternative but to use their car to get to places because public transport is not accessible and they cannot walk distances.
“In addition, as the report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission published on Monday (April 3) ‘Being Disabled: A Journey Less Equal in Britain’ demonstrates, disabled people are twice as likely to be living in poverty.”
A spokesman said: “Charging for disabled parking in Waverley car parks was agreed as part of the annual budget setting process at full council on February 21 and was implemented on April 3 2017.
Waverley Borough Council
“Information is displayed on the tariff boards advised blue badge holders of the charges and temporary signage is also in place near the disabled spaces.
“The council will continue to offer free car parking for those who need it most.
“Waverley residents with a disability, who are on income related benefits, can apply for a new permit which will ensure free parking in all Waverley-owned car parks. The permit will need to be displayed in the front windscreen alongside their blue badge.”
“These decisions are solely down to the boroughs and districts but we were told about this being brought in ahead of the change.”