A summit to discuss York’s blue badge access has been called.
York Central MP Rachael Maskell has revealed that City of York Council is to meet with Cheshire West and Chester Councils to talk through city centre security and access.
It follows the outrage sparked by a ban on blue badge parking on the footstreets of York which disabled people say has excluded them from the city centre.
The ban was brought in as part of measures designed to protect the city from terrorist attack.
Yesterday (Monday), York Equal Access protestors gathered outside City of York Council offices to urge residents: “Don’t vote for any political party that supports discrimination against disabled people.”
A spokesperson for the group said: “Other cities like Chester have balanced the safety and access for blue badge holders, why can’t York?
“York Equal Access group is non party political, but urges York voters to recognise the needs of disabled people which are enshrined in the Disability Discrimination Act and the Equalities Act when exercising their vote on Thursday.”
The case of Chester was brought up during a debate on the issue called by Ms Maskell in Parliament.
Speaking in the debate, the MP for the City of Chester Sam Dixon said it was able to provide vital security measures and blue badge access, so disabled people could enter their city.
She described how her council worked closely with disabled people to ensure that their needs were accommodated for, adding that the barriers in Chester were only required on three occasions.
Ms Maskell said the meeting between York, Chester and Cheshire West councils will take place on 10 May.
“I welcome this meeting between the councils, and trust that this will be a turning point in this whole sorry affair,” the Labour MP said. “Disabled people must be listened to, which York’s current administration has failed to do.
“I trust from this point on, our city will be accessible for all. It is time the council apologised for the distress they have caused disabled people.
“Labour has been clear that we would ensure that York is open to disabled people and would overturn the blue badge ban, standing up for all parts of our community in York.”