Letter: Charge blue badge holders to park

An article written in the P&C Express by Cassie Irving and published in the March 27 edition, tells us that Wakefield Council are likely to charge residents for parking, in soon to be created Controlled Parking Zones. (CPZ), and would you believe the income is not to be used to plug the council’s budget deficit.

What a cheek. These people pay their vehicle road tax and insurance, but are unfortunate to live in properties without a drive or garage, and where is the fairness that those who are already permit holders wouldn’t be charged but new permits would.

As an alternative perhaps they should consider charging blue badge holders for parking.

The following is part of a letter I sent to WMDC via Mr Fox in January 2013, who said it would be considered by the council.

These are the results of a FOI request to WMDC.

- 21,435 blue badges are currently in use in WMDC.

- 10,968 issued under the discretionary Scheme.

- 10,026 issued to people with the higher rate of DVLA mobility.

- 40 issued to war pension supplement.

- 256 for people who are blind.

- 145 to children under 3

At least the 10,026 persons whose DVLA rate allows them to qualify for a blue badge gets money to help to pay additional mobility costs, as do the war pensioners and I think blind children, so why should they be exempt from parking charges?

The others must have some disability and are probably receiving an allowance of some kind to help them their care costs, which no doubt means transporting them about.

The advantage of parking bays for blue badge holders is that they are much wider than the ordinary bay which allows car doors to be opened fully without damaging your own or the vehicle next to you. They are also nearest to the exit and the local facilities.

In the markets area of Doncaster, for example, the council allow parking for the blue badge holders in the parking places shown as disabled parking, but if a blue badge holder has to park in an unmarked bay then they have to pay.

Scarborough Council has marked bays, but blue badge holders still have to pay when parked in them.

It is worth noting that paying to park in disable parking bays will also cut down the misuse of the blue badge because there will be no monetary advantage for those not entitled to use the badge.

Blue badge holders can also park in the streets with very few restrictions.

Might not be popular with the public, and no doubt the council will be accused of being a scrooge, but with the Labour party having an unassailable majority, it can afford to be fair and logical and not concerned with losing control of the council.

Just for the record we have a blue badge, and live in a property with a drive and garage.

Name and address withheld