Disabled drivers ‘very upset’ by changes which leave them ‘unable to access’ city centre

Mike Graham slams York Council over scheme to ban cars in city

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York Accessibility Action Group (YAA) said “a huge number of residents with visible and invisible disabilities” had been affected by the changes. The group attacked the council for wanting “blanket bans” which campaigns say has led to “exclusion and discrimination”.

It comes after York Council introduced a new pedestrian zone restricting vehicle access to much of the city centre.

They boast the scheme is the “largest in Europe” and creates a “safer and more attractive” city centre.

The scheme runs from 10:30am to 8pm seven days a week and covers most roads in the very heart of touristy York.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mick Plythian, York Accessibility Action said: “This disabled community in York, as a whole, are very upset by the closures.

“We have been unable to access the centre of York for over 15 months now apart from at night.

“The issue is not just about Blue Badge parking. A huge number of residents with visible and invisible disabilities… previously used taxis to set them down close to where they needed to go.

“My adult son who has autism, a visual impairment and other disabilities has had to change from the barber and opticians he used in the city centre because taxis have been banned from dropping off passengers.

“Number plate recognition [should allow] Blue Badges holders to pass through any barriers, taxis carrying disabled passengers should also be allowed access.

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“The challenge will be how to make this work, something the Council seem to generally shy away from.

“They prefer blanket bans without realising this approach cannot possibly work and leads to the devastating exclusion and discrimination we have witnessed in York since last summer.”

York Council said it has introduced extra disabled parking bays on the edge of the pedestrianisation scheme to “mitigate against the impact on blue badge holders”.

They said York Council has reinstated blue badge access to the Derngate and College Green areas of the city centre following engagement with residents.

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