Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 8°C

Search

Halesworth: Transport group says disabled people will suffer after blue badge refusal

09:14 11 March 2014

Archant

A community group which provides vital transport services for disabled and elderly passengers says it is mystified after being refused a Blue Badge parking permit.

shares

For several years Halesworth Area Community Transport (HACT) has been granted a badge to allow it to park in restricted areas usually reserved for people with disabilities or impaired mobility.

However, the group’s latest application for a permit has been refused on the grounds it no longer meets the correct criteria.

In a letter Suffolk County Council told the group: “Under the Government Blue Badge eligibility criteria that we are required to work within, the regulations state that an organisation will only be issued with a Blue Badge if they both care for and transport disabled people who would themselves be eligible for an individual Blue Badge.

“Unfortunately as your organisation only transports and does not care for disabled people, I regret I am unable to authorise a badge for you.”

Despite an appeal by HACT the decision has been upheld by the council.

The group, which runs the 511 bus service between Holton and Halesworth, says the decision will cause problems for many of its passengers who are unable to walk or travel long distances for medical appointments, shopping, to pay bills, attend community events or visit family and friends.

Julia Howell, HACT administrator, said: “Although our services are open to all members of the community a large percentage of our passengers are elderly or have disabilities. Hence, many of our passengers cannot walk or travel long distances.

“However, without a Blue Badge we are no longer able to park in designated areas meaning we may be forced to drop patients off further away from amenities, which could make life very difficult for them.

“Also, we will now be left having to search for available parking spaces, which is not easy with large vehicles. This could of course cause delays and could result in people missing important appointments.

“We cannot understand why after all these years we are now being refused a permit. It seems a very strange decision to prevent a service providing transport for people with disabilities from parking in spaces reserved for people with disabilities.

“It seems this is another case of red tape making it difficult for a voluntary organisation to provide a valuable service.”

A spokesman for the county council said: “There is another stage of the appeal process and we would welcome Halesworth Area Community Transport submitting to this process with further evidence that supports their application.

“In the meantime there is no reason at all why anyone who has their own personal blue badge cannot make use of it whilst using the mini bus service.”

shares

1 comment

  • Well done Suffolk County Council, instead of helping elderly people and those with disabilities to access community facilities you are condemning them to become further alienated from their community.

    Report this comment

    summertime summertime

    Friday, March 14, 2014

Should cyclists be allowed to go through red traffic lights when it is safe?

A cyclist rode through a red light and turned left while I was walking the dog this week. It was 6.20am, there was no other traffic so no risk but, officially, the cyclist had broken the law.

The A11 at Elveden.

An air ambulance landed on the A11 at Elveden this afternoon to help a woman who was involved in a car crash.

Halifax Town v Braintree Town - Kenny Davis

Braintree Town take on Altrincham, needing just a point to secure a place in the National League play-offs.

Waterloo Road in Ipswich.

Police helped control traffic as firefighters extinguished a car blaze.

Ralph Crich suffered a cardiac arrest at Ipwich Town's home game against Fulham on April 19. He has since made a speedy recovery and will be going to watch ITFC against MK Dons tomorrow.

When Ipswich Town fan Ralph Crich left Portman Road 11 days ago, he was, in his own words, nearly dead.

Malcolm Metcalf at the Old Cattle Market bus station in Ipswich.

An 82-year-old man who set himself the challenge of travelling around England on his bus pass has made his stop in Ipswich.

Match Centre

Live match updates from Ipswich Town’s final home game of the season, against Milton Keynes Dons.

Neighbours objecting to the original proposed demolition of Woodbridge police station for housing

Plans to turn an empty police station into housing have been knocked back at the second time of asking.

Braintree Town have secured a place in the National League play-offs

Braintree Town set-up a two-legged National League play-off semi –final with Grimsby following their 3-0 win over Altrincham, a result which also relegated the visitors.

Stock picture of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service fire engines.

Firefighters helped free a man who was trapped in his car after it collided with a tree.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24