A petition has been started against the closure of York’s streets to Blue Badge holders, making it difficult or impossible for disabled people to access the town centre.
Disability campaigner Alison Hume has started the Change.org petition and also held a protest yesterday.
On the Change.org page for the petition, entitled ‘Re-open York city centre to the disabled #ClosedToUs’, she wrote: “As the parent of a disabled young adult, I have been shocked by the sudden closure of York city centre streets to Blue Badge holders and to taxis transporting customers with visible and invisible disabilities and impairments into our city.
“By introducing, without consultation, these restrictions which affect disabled people disproportionately more than non disabled people, City of York Council have failed in its obligations under the Equality Act (2010).”
She continued: “Substantial reductions in disabled access have been brought in under Covid-related emergency powers. As a result, Badge-holders and/or their carers are no longer allowed to park close to where we need, and want, to go. Shops, restaurants, opticians, hairdressers, etc., are out of reach. Instead, we are forced to park in a non-central car park and rely on an unsatisfactory, time-limited taxi service with a single drop-off point at the outermost edge of the shopping area.”
At the time of writing the petition, which Hume hopes to take to the local council, has 219 signatures with a target of 500.
The petition concluded: “Through the council’s discriminatory actions, York has moved away from being the ‘diverse, fair and safe’ city the council signed up to when it pledged to make York the first Human Rights City in the UK. Instead, it is well on its way to becoming the most inaccessible city in the UK.”
Meanwhile, on its website, the council claims to have implemented a number of accessibility measures, saying it has made parking, pedestrian access, shops and tourist attractions and public toilets easy for disabled visitors to access.