Double yellow plan could cause blue badge trouble


theweeksubGovernment plans to ease the laws on parking on yellow lines could make it harder for disabled motorists to find spaces, according to worried campaigners.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) suggested that the government could in future allow all motorists to park for free on double yellow lines for up to 15 minutes.
But disabled motorists with blue parking badges – who either cannot walk or have severe mobility impairments – are already allowed to park on single and double yellow lines to provide easier access to shops and other services.
Many of them cannot enter car parks because their vehicles are too high, or cannot use parking machines, so they have to be able to park on the street.
And they fear that allowing all motorists to use double yellow lines for short periods could make it much harder for them to find spaces, and so further restrict their mobility.
Helen Dolphin, director of policy and campaigns for Disabled Motoring UK, called on the government to rethink its plans.
She said: “Although we can understand the idea behind the proposal, we believe it would be better for councils to review whether such restrictions are needed and whether it would be better to implement short-term parking spaces instead.
“However, if yellow lines were removed this would reduce the amount of space available for disabled people so at the same time we would like to see more blue badge spaces as well.”
She said the charity had taken calls from worried members concerned that if the rules were relaxed, they would be unable to find on-street parking spaces.
One member told the charity: “Non-disabled people can park anywhere. I can’t!”
A DCLG spokeswoman said: “Ministers are looking at how we can reform rules on parking enforcement and parking wardens in a common sense way, and make it easier for people to pop into a local shop to buy a newspaper or a loaf of bread without negatively affecting access or traffic flow.”
But she said the department was also looking at whether there should be tougher enforcement to deal with “anti-social parking”, such as dangerous parking or “illegally parking in a disabled parking bay”.
A Department for Transport (DfT) spokeswoman said: “We need to revisit the system of parking controls from time to time to make sure they stay in shape as a tool for local authorities.
“There are a number of ideas that have been put forward and we will come to a view on which, if any, changes to consult on and make in due course.”
DfT made clear that disability organisations would need to be consulted over any changes, in order to understand the potential impact on blue badge-holders.
31 July 2013