York ME Community and disability rights campaigners are hoping to challenge the recent decision to premanently ban disablaed parking in pedestrianised areas in York centre.
Last month councillors in York unanimously voted to permanently prevent disabled parking in pedestrianised areas to allow anti-terror defences to be installed.
The parking ban on was first brought in during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow better social distancing around York’s famous Minster.
Though objections from disabled residents and their families were raised the proposal for the ban has now been accepted.
York City Council’s executive said that the decision was necessary to protect public safety and help protect the city from hostile vehicle attacks.
Bill Clayton, founder of The York ME Community, said:
“Restrictions were first put in place around September 2020 by the council using covid emergency powers to close city centre streets to blue badge holders. It was said to be to allow people to stay the required two metres apart without vehicles needed by the disabled community forcing pedestrians to have to walk closer together. This made no sense to me at the time, and still doesn’t as many other vehicles were still allowed into the centre, so why just blue badge vehicles?
When the two metre rule softened, the ban stayed in place, this time to allow pubs, cafes, restaurants and the like to have tables and chairs out on the streets and pavements to help them stay in business by serving outside.”
Bill represents two disability groups, The York ME Community and York Access Hub. He is concerned that disabled people across the city will feel increasingly isolated.
“I have (already) heard so many real life stories of those left in tears at being unable to live anything like a normal existence, unable to meet with family and friends, attend their church, go to the optician, bank etc.”
York Accessibility Action group has started a crowdfunding campaign in a bid to persue legal action. You can visit the crowdfunding page by clicking here.
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