Road Tax disk changes and it impacts on some Blue Badge holders

On the 1st October 2014, and after 87 years of having to display one, there will no longer be a legal requirement for any vehicle to display a tax disc. For those vehicles with Nil and Disabled tax discs who are currently entitled to free parking in Cornwall Council car parks a new process has been put in place so those who qualify can still continue to receive free parking..

The new process from the 1st October will require owners of vehicles of a Nill and Disabled tax disc  to contact the Council up to two weeks before expiry of their tax disk  giving details of the vehicle’s make and model and its registration number. The Parking Service will verify the details and add the information into its system as a vehicle exempt from enforcement in Cornwall Council car parks due to its Nil and Disabled status.  Provided a valid blue badge is displayed.  This will allow the continuation of free car parking in Cornwall Council owned car parks.

If a vehicle is not displaying a Nil and Disabled tax disc or has not been applied for exemptions as above, then the Enforcement Officers will not be aware of its status and will issue Penalty Charge Notices.  The vehicle must also display a valid blue badge to receive the exemption.

mail: parkingservices@cornwall.gov.uk  or write to the Council at: Parking Services, PO Box 664, TR1 9DH

 

Blue Badge and a Sensible Way Forward

A week ago I blogged about a proposal to allow Blue Badge Holders extra time on any car parking tickets brought. Today the Parking Advisory Panel met to discuss this, and more importantly, invited people from the disabled community to speak on this issue.

Those from the disabled community spoke with passion on the difficulties they face going about their daily business. They did not just want a free ticket as they understood the corporate side to parking and charging. The Panel listened and debated this issue for near two hours and came up with a recommendation that (Unless I judged it wrong) met with the approval of those invited. That recommendation is as follows:

Allow blue badge holders an additional hour for each hour purchased.
I have said before that the Panel is advisory and it will be Cabinet who will make the final decision, but I believe this recommendation is a good one, and one that should be accepted by Cabinet.


Car Parks and Blue Badge Holders

The Parking Advisory Panel discusses many areas around car-parking and not just tariffs. It then makes recommendations to Cabinet for their final decision. One of these areas that the Panel has discussed is the charging for parking for a Blue Badge holder. Currently the Cornwall Council Policy is if the vehicle displays a tax disc marked NIL/Disabled; or the vehicle is an especially adapted vehicle; parking in a car-park (Off Street) is free.

The Panel is looking at this again due to the fact disabled people may take longer than able bodied people to carry out everyday tasks and therefore may need to pay more for parking. This means that blue badge holders may not be able to complete all their tasks in the parking time they have purchased, they may have to purchase more time and/or they may feel pressured to rush back to the car park – possibly exacerbating their condition. It could be seen as not being fair and discriminating against disabled people.

On the 16th June the Panel will be discussing this issue and will look into a few possible solutions. This could include one of the following options in the draft Order for 2012/13 which will be subject to consultation (through the statutory legal process) allowing blue badge holders an additional time for every time period purchased in Cornwall Council car parks using:

Option 1
Option A: Allow blue badge holders an additional hour on the time period purchased.
Option B: Allow blue badge holders an additional hour for each hour purchased.

(and/or)

Option 2
Allow vehicles exempt from charges because of the disabled tax disc or adapted vehicles longer than the maximum stay in short stay car parks. The length of time should reflect the option chosen above.

Let me know what you think