Disabled residents in Worksop say that they are going to be ‘cut off’ from the town centre once changes which forbid blue badge holders from parking on the high street have come into play.
The changes, which will be implemented by Nottinghamshire County Council from November 23, completely restrict vehicle access to the pedestrianised areas of Bridge Street and Bridge Place with the exception of loading vehicles between 10am-4pm.
But this is going to cause ‘great difficulty’ for blue and green badge holders who can only manage a few steps from their car or feel unsafe parking away from the high street.
Ian Linacre, from Worksop, contacted the Guardian to speak of his outrage at the changes, which he said would leave him in ‘excrutiating pain’. He said: “We are being persecuted for being disabled and that is that. Walking to and from my car will crucify me. It’s easy for you to shrug it off if you’re not disabled yourself.
“Under the Disability Rights Act, disabled people must have equal access-so why are the council not adhering to this? If you’re going to close the high street to vehicles, close it for everyone. Don’t make one rule for some people and another rule for others. It’s infuriating for us.”
One Worksop woman, who did not wish to be named, said: “I wish the council would cut off able-bodied people from the town centre for a few days to see how they like it. The rules have been put in place in the interests of safety. Why then, are unloading vehicles allowed to speed up and down the high street? These vehicles pose more of a danger.”
Extra signs are currently being put up on streets in Worksop to alert motorists to the new parking arrangements, as well as bollards at a cost of £40,000.
Counc illor Kevin Greaves, chairman of the Highways committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The scheme will provide better and safer access to the town centre, improving the shopping experience and boosting the local economy.”
“Parking for blue badge holders has been made available on Ryton Street and Hardy Street.