Disabled parking fee plan dropped

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A CONTROVERSIAL move to introduce charges for off-street disabled parking has been scrapped by Harrogate Council.

The proposal, which was revealed by the Advertiser last month, has been dropped after a wave of protest from blue badge holders.

The group scrutinising the council’s budget also urged the authority to abandon the idea, saying it would “make life worse” for disabled drivers.

On Wednesday, council leader Coun Mike Gardner confirmed the plans have been scrapped.

Cabinet member for transport, Coun Jim Clark, said: “I expected the opposition in a way, because it’s an emotive issue, but when you are in a position where you have to look at everything, you look at everything.

“We have accepted what scrutiny said and highly support their views on that, we’ve no problem with it at all. There is no way that this was us trying to discriminate against anybody - we understand the difficulties people with disabilities have, and we would have had a full consultation on this.”

The council had hoped to save £55,000 through the cut. This will now be partly covered by a VAT rebate, with the rest coming off an intended contribution to its capital reserve.