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Silent protest over plans to charge disabled motorists to park in Boston

By Boston Target  |  Posted: June 27, 2012

PROTEST PLAN: Boston Disablity Forum members will stage a demonstration outside the Municipal Buildinsg tomorrow against proposals to charge Blue Badge holders pay to park their vehicles in council-run car parks.

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A SILENT protest is set to take place before a meeting to decide on plans to make disabled motorists pay to park their cars in Boston.

Members of the Boston Disability Forum (BDF) will stage a demonstration tomorrow (Thursday) between 5.45pm and 6.15pm outside the Municipal Buildings in West Street.

Fifteen minutes after the protest comes to an end Boston borough councillors will gather inside the building to take a final vote on the controversial plan to charge Blue Badge holders to use the authority’s off-street car parks.

The proposal was due to come into force at the start of this month but was delayed when four formal objections were submitted against the idea.

Among these was a letter from BDF which branded the plan “unfair.”

The submission claimed, among other things, that disabled people may not be able to use the parking meters or afford to pay.

It also suggested the proposal would “add stress and pressure to the lives of the disabled community.”

The BDF has won backing from the council’s Labour group which in a statement hit out at the charges plan and criticised rules which mean members of the public cannot ask questions at the special meeting while councillors will be limited to speaking just once each during the debate.

It said: “Boston Labour councillors are pleased to support a silent demonstration organised by Boston Disability Forum.

“If any other members of the public feel strongly about this issue please come and join this demo.

“This demo is to tell Boston Borough Council that it is shameful the way they have treated disabled drivers and even more shameful to not allow them to discuss their objections with you at your meeting.

“Is democracy really finally dead in Boston? With actions like this it would appear that the answer is yes.”

Previously the council attempted to allay concerns over the scheme by stating all its parking meters were disabled-accessible and by offering an extra 30 minutes parking time for Blue Badge holders. It also revealed imposing the charges was expected to generate an additional £48,000 in revenue for the authority.

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  • MrsBW  |  June 28 2012, 10:19AM

    Everyone should pay the same. We are all in the same situation these days financially and to allow free parking to the disabled is discriminating against the able-bodied. Especially considering that some disabled already claim more benefits 'because' of their disabilities including free vehicles or road tax exemptions.

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  • Ian_Heighton  |  June 27 2012, 12:53PM

    As a Blue Badge holder, I have no problem in paying the going rate to park. All I ask is to be able to get close to where I need to go and if I have to pay, have a pay station very close to the disabled bays.

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  • GedlingTnPeck  |  June 27 2012, 10:20AM

    The last sentence says it all really "It also revealed imposing the charges was expected to generate an additional £48,000 in revenue for the authority". As usual the issue is being driven solely by money and targeting those who are disadvantaged in society. How many of the Councillors themselves are disabled I wonder? Another easy target - shame on the Council!!

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  • 917199  |  June 27 2012, 9:48AM

    among other things, that disabled people may not be able to use the parking meters or afford to pay... Nor can half the working class afford the hours parking charges. I think an extra half hour is fair.

    |   6