Disabled Parking Restrictions: a comparison of Redbridge and Waltham Forest

, 11 February 2016, Tags:

Dear Sir

 So Redbridge Council have done a u-turn on their proposed scrapping of the Redbridge Mobility Card Scheme, which provides door-to-door transport for the disabled and the elderly. For the time being, at the local level, compassion has prevailed over cheese-paring. However, the Conservative government's cost-cutting agenda is unlikely to finish any time soon: Redbridge Council is just one of the 433 principal authorities in the UK which are having to make impossible financial decisions on a regular basis. But it is not always necessary to spend more taxpayers' money to make life pleasanter and easier for vulnerable residents. 

One of the things that has set Waltham Forest apart is their commonsense treatment of Blue Badge holders. These can park their cars in a Waltham Forest CPZ (controlled parking zone) without fear of a penalty charge notice. Not so in Redbridge.

On Waltham Forest council's website it says:

"In Waltham Forest a correctly displayed valid blue badge can be used in bays reserved for permit holders, with the exception of those bays highlighted for market traders (MT) and catering staff (CAT). In the permit bays you are not required to display your blue clock."

But on the Redbridge Council website, we find: "You are not allowed to park in residents', business or doctors' bays." (http://www2.redbridge.gov.uk/cms/council_tax_benefits_housing/benefits/travel_benefits/blue_badge_scheme.aspx#sthash.VLda9Qyj.dpuf)

This difference in regulation is patently unfair, as I discovered to my cost during my year as a Blue Badge holder. A penalty charge was applied to my car while parked in a resident's bay. Despite being urged to appeal, I lost and had to pay the fine. Like myself, Waltham Forest Blue Badge holders frequently drive to visit friends and family in Redbridge - and vice versa. I call on Redbridge council to exempt Blue Badge holders from the current parking restrictions. Their quality of life needs to be improved at all costs, and an exemption is one "no-cost" way of achieving this.

Diana Korchien

Waltham Forest & Redbridge Green Party

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