York permanently excludes Blue Badge holders, devastating lives

Last night in York, the lives of many Blue Badge holders were changed forever. A devastating vote from Exec means the permanent exclusion of Blue Badge holders from the footstreets area. 

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Last night Executive voted unanimously to exclude us from the list of vehicles allowed into the footstreets area between 10.30 and 5, they voted to extend that temporarily so it will be 10.30-7pm until September 2022 because of pavement cafes (their licenses run out then) and also to begin formal consultation to make the 5-7 aspect permanent as well.

They did not appear to have any intention of listening to well reasoned compromises and solutions, and indeed appeared to reject outright sensible suggestions made in a report the council had independently commissioned. 

As a result, many Blue Badge holders will struggle to shop, socialise, participate in city centre life or even use their bank.

That this decision happened in a Human Rights City is devastating. The council describes it’s city centre as welcoming for all, as being an age friendly city centre, a demetia friendly city centre and an autism friendly city centre and yet do not appear to see the irony in excluding blue badge holders.

There were very real, very sensible compromises put forward that have been dismissed out of hand. Using CCTV to allow blue badge holders to show their permit was ruled out because people would fake blue badges.

Last night’s decisions are devastating, they are heartbreaking and they are ruining very real people’s lives.

Edited to add:

Helen from YDRF spoke at the meeting, in person, to beg Executive to allow access:

What next?

There is now a crowd funder to raise £5,000 to pay a specialist disability discrimination lawyers to explore whether we have a legal case to challenge the changes which threaten our human rights, independence and dignity.

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