Some concessions for blue badge holders

The City of Lincoln Council executives agreed on August 31 to look into giving city blue badge holders some parking concessions.

The move comes after a local man hired lawyers to challenge the council’s decision to abolish free parking for blue badge holders last year.

The City Council started charging blue badge holders the same parking tariffs as all other car park users in April 2009, hoping to earn an extra £100,000 per year.

Matt Smith (28), who has cerebral palsy and needs wheelchair assistance, decided to take matters into his own hands, claiming the charges are unlawful.

To avoid a costly High Court battle, the City Council decided to reassess parking tariffs for blue badge holders in Lincoln.

‘Buy one get one free’

At an Executive Committee meeting on August 31, the City of Lincoln Council was presented with a report giving them three options.

The council had to choose between abolishing charges for blue badge holders, giving some concessions, or not changing its policy at all.

The executives didn’t reach a consensus over a definitive way to implement parking concessions for blue badge holders in Lincoln.

Two main ideas for parking concessions were circulated. One included a ‘buy one get one free’ scheme to double any parking time purchased by blue badge holders.

The second widely discussed scheme included giving blue badge holders an extra hour on top the time they purchased, recognising the additional time they need.

A final decision is expected to be reached later this year, after the council will consult the members of the Lincoln Disability Forum.

The City Council will also have to figure out the technicalities of resetting the parking meters at the car parks it administers, and make the scheme easy to use.

The council cannot quantify how concessions to blue badge holders will affect its finances, but estimates there are around 80,000 holders in Lincolnshire.