Blue badge hold­ers might stop vis­it­ing the bor­ough

Coun­cil plans to charge dis­abled mo­torists for park­ing are very un­pop­u­lar

Aldershot News & Mail - - NEWS -

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.”

DalVivOwen. An­ge­laAshby. FranJohn­son. Doreen y.

Ge­orge White.

Florence Watson.

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