As shops and cafes were allowed to reopen, following forced closures due to coronavirus, social distancing measures were needed in York city centre. In order for people to stay the required distance apart, City of York Council made the decision to close some streets to cars. This is referred to by the council as extending the footstreets.
However, those extensions meant that the Blue Badge parking spaces within the city were no longer available. As an alternative to these spaces, the council increased the number of Blue Badge spaces at Monk Bar Car Park and put on a taxi service from this car park to St Andrewgate.
The changes were communicated by a leaflet that was posted out to all Blue Badge holders in the city, however by the time the leaflet was published, the changes were already out of date. Further extensions of the footsteets had been carried out.
The leaflet was lacking crucial information and was written in a patronising way that put the onus on disabled people to be understanding and to accept the changes.
Although the Forum had only just been formed, the Steering Group felt the matter was so important that we felt required to speak. The way in which the measures taken by City of York Council to restrict access to York city centre for Blue Badge holders had been implemented was discriminatory and unacceptable.
We produced the document below which outlines the concerns raised by and with members of the Forum’s advisory group with the intention that these views be recognised and considered, particularly where matters directly affect the disability community of York. Our aim is to highlight the implications of such measures for people who are disabled in order to improve future decision-making procedures.
City of York Council Blue Badge Flyer (PDF – 1.7MB)
We also participated in the Customer and Corporate Services Scrutiny Management Committee on 10th August and have since had a meeting with representatives from the council’s communications team.
If you would like to get in touch with us about your experience of this issue please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re always looking for ways to improve the way we present and distribute information so please do get in touch if you can recommend any positive changes or adjustments we might make.