Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 3°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

 Felistowe beach

Winds of up to 70mph have been felt across East Anglia.

Felixstowe Road, levington closed after roofing blows off building.

The road was closed in both directions between the Strattonhall Drift and the Bridge Road junctions.

Isaac's new extension

A churchgoing burglar in a suit who stole drills and a laptop from an Ipswich waterfront pub has been jailed for eight weeks.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A drunken shoplifter who stole vintage port, lager and a coat from Ipswich town centre stores has been given a conditional discharge.

The Mid Suffolk Light Railway prepares for its Easter weekend event. Zach Bond cleaning a train.

More visitors attended a Suffolk heritage railway than ever before, according to figures.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

Rail passengers face delays in north-east Essex after plastic sheeting became caught up in overhead electric wires.

Launch of the great East Swim 2016.

One of Britain’s top open water swimmers has said the amazing challenge of the sport should inspire people to take part in one of the region’s largest mass-participation swimming events.

Sycamore Close, Ipswich

A man who brandished an axe when baliffs came to his Ipswich home to collect a court debt has been jailed.

Former Brett Works

A national developer is proposing to build a care home on the Brett Works site in Hadleigh.

Marks and Spencer in Westgate Street, Ipswich

A purse was stolen from an elderly woman in Marks and Spencer in Ipswich town centre, police have said.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24