Concerns have been raised over changes which will see disabled blue badge holders prohibited from parking on Worksop’s high street.
The changes, which will be implemented by Nottinghamshire County Council next month, will restrict vehicle access to the pedestrianised areas of Bridge Street and Bridge Place with the exception of loading vehicles between 10am-4pm.
Currently, blue badge holders are allowed to travel up and down the busy high street as well as park there, apart from on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday when Worksop Market is in session.
Council bosses say the move will make shopping in the town centre safer, but the plan has been criticised by disabled residents and the groups who represent them.
Maureen White, from Worksop, has a disability which can leave her in excruciating pain if she walks more than a few steps.
She said: “I think it’s disgraceful and myself, along with a lot of other people, are definitely going to be affected by the council’s decision. This is just another issue which will make it more difficult for us to get around.”
Jan Harding, chairman of the Bassetlaw Learning Disability Association, said: “The council has been tightening up on blue badge holders recently, but what they don’t seem to realise is a lot of people with blue badges can barely take a few steps.
“If they have to park further away from the town centre it could more or less prohibit them from getting to their destination entirely.”
Jane Hawthorn, chairman of the Bassetlaw disability support group Allsorts, has also slammed the proposals. She said: “This seems to be happening more and more across the district and it is not helpful at all.”
Bollards will be erected to restrict vehicles, which will cost the council £40,000.
Kevin Greaves, chairman of the council’s transport and highways committee, defended the changes. He said: “The scheme we are implementing 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 now been made available on Ryton Street and Hardy Street.