'Shabby' treatment for disabled

DISABLED people are being treated 'shabbily' over a proposed scheme to revolutionise Weston town centre parking, according to a prominent pensioner

DISABLED people are being treated 'shabbily' over a proposed scheme to revolutionise Weston town centre parking, according to a prominent pensioner.North Somerset Council says that if a controlled parking zone is created in the town centre blue badge holders will no longer be able to park on double yellow lines.Last week the Weston & Somerset Mercury reported the number of parking bays for disabled people in Weston will be slashed by nearly half if the authority's plans go ahead.Weston Senior Citizens Forum's chairman Ken Lacey says he is extremely concerned that so many blue badge places could be lost.At the moment a major public consultation exercise is taking place so residents can say what they think of plans to transfer responsibility for enforcing on-street parking to the council from the police.Mr Lacey, whose wife has a blue badge, said: "The plans for the double yellow lines in town are quite laughable."They are banning parking areas for disabled people where they have been parking quite freely for a number of years."The people planning this scheme do not seem to realise if you have a disabled badge you cannot walk a long distance. Most people can't go more than 100 yards."Disabled people are being treated very shabbily." A North Somerset Council spokesman said: "I can confirm disabled drivers will not be able to park on double yellow lines in the town centre if the scheme is taken up."However, they can park in any of the designated spaces for free for up to three hours." If the project goes ahead the proposed changes include hiring attendants to patrol North Somerset's streets to fine the area's rogue drivers.The attendants would be funded by creating a zone in Weston where on-street charging would be introduced. If approved, the proposals will be submitted to central Government which will have the final say on whether to allow the transfer, which would take place in March 2008. For more details on the scheme call 01934 888802.


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