Published Wednesday, 6 September 2017
Charges for Blue Badge holder parking will be reintroduced.
The decision, made by the Executive on Tuesday 5 September, follows a review of the scheme and recommendations to carry out some adjustments in the council’s car parks.
The move to charge for Blue Badge holder parking was first approved as part of the annual budget setting process during a Full Council meeting on 21 February.
It was first implemented on 3 April in all Waverley car parks. However enforcement was suspended later that month following concerns raised by some residents about accessibility issues.
Councillor Jim Edwards, Portfolio Holder for Environment at Waverley Borough Council, said: “We felt charging Blue Badge holders to park in our car parks, who can afford it, was the fairest thing to do in light of the financial difficulties facing the council. Due to Government cuts we had to make savings and find new ways of generating revenue in order to maintain our front line services.
“Free car parking will continue to be available for those Blue Badge holders who receive income support and for those with severe disabilities. They will qualify for a free permit. In light of the feedback from the consultation we have extended the criteria of the permit to include more benefits, such as the lower and higher rate of Attendance Allowance and any other income-related benefit, in addition to the higher rate of Personal Independence Payment and the higher rate of Disability Living Allowance.
“Blue Badge holders will also get an extra hour’s free parking when they purchase a ticket.
“What this review has shown us is that, before charges are implemented, we need to make sure our car parks are accessible. We will be installing drop curbs or ramps up to the machines nearest the disabled bays in our car parks. New signs about the pay-by-phone service will be installed close to disabled bays so Blue Badge holders won’t need to get to the machine.
“While this work is ongoing, anyone who hasn’t yet applied for a free permit, who is entitled to one, can do so.
“We will be putting out a lot of communication to let people know when the charging will be enforced from, once all the works are completed. It is likely this will be in October.
“Finally, I’d like to personally thank all those individuals and groups who contributed to the consultation.”