Blue badge holders might stop visiting the borough
Council plans to charge disabled motorists for parking are very unpopular
BLUE badge holders will soon have to start paying for car parking in Rushmoor.
Rushmoor Borough Council’s cabinet recently agreed to extend parking charges in the borough to include all disabled motorists, following a public consultation.
The council first began charging non-automatic blue badge holders for parking in April 2012 on a trial basis with the aim of freeing up disabled bays for those who needed them most.
Automatic badge holders were still able to park for free.
But the council has ruled it is more important for automatic blue badge holders to have wide and easily accessible parking bays rather than free parking.
However, users will be entitled to double the amount of time they pay for from October.
Although the new system has been deemed ‘fairer and simpler’ by the council, many residents do not agree with the changes.
George White, 73, from Farnham, is a blue badge holder and said he could be put off coming to Aldershot and Farnborough because of the new parking changes.
He said: “I don’t like it. Disabled motorists should not have to pay to park – I’m one of them and I come to Aldershot to do my shopping.”
Viv Owen, 70, from Aldershot, agreed, saying: “Fortunately I am not a blue badge holder so I won’t be affected, but it does seem a shame.
“Surely the council won’t make a huge amount of extra money by introducing the charges, it doesn’t seem fair.”
Angela Ashby, 68, a retired nursing matron, from Ash, said: “I don't think they should have to pay if they are disabled, they can’t walk or use the buses to get out and about.
“I think a lot of blue badge users need more space so they can get their wheelchairs out of the cars too.”
Fran Johnson, 64, a recently retired nurse from Guildford, said: “It’s not a good idea, I don't see the logic in it.
“Working in a hospital I would see this problem a lot and lots of people have issues with parking.”
Doreen Daly, 79, from Guildford, said: “It seems strange, I know there is a lot of dispute about blue badges but people have them for a reason.
“Some different areas have different rules and blue badge holders already have to pay in some car parks, but I can’t see why they’re making them pay.”
However, Florence Watson, 80, from Mytchett, thought the new arrangements were reasonable.
She said: “A lot of people do get parking for free and I don’t think it’s right to stop that.
“But if they get it half price or get more time if they have to pay then that is fair.”
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