York Sight Loss Council reasserts objection to York council’s discriminatory traffic regulation order

York Sight Loss Council is campaigning against York council’s traffic regulation order that will discriminate against disabled people.

The council’s plan to permanently ban blue badge holders from driving on pedestrian roads during the day will force people with disabilities out of the city centre, warns York Sight Loss Council.

A decision on whether to permanently remove the exemption which allows blue badge holders to park on certain pedestrian roads between 10.30am and 5pm will be made on 18 November, where the council’s executive will have the final say.

Diane Rowarth, from York Sight Loss Council, said:

“These losses, created through emergency powers in a pandemic situation, should not be made permanent – they unlawfully discriminate against disabled people.”

The campaigning group, which advocates for blind and partially sighted people in the city, joins representative groups such as the York Disability Rights Forum to oppose the plans.

Disability campaigners from across York have gathered to call on York City Council to restore access to the city centre for Blue Badge holders.

York council extended the pedestrianised zone in the city centre at the start of lockdown, installing barriers and bollards to prevent vehicle access between 10.30am and 5pm. The council now plans to make a traffic regulation order to make these changes permanent.

Engagement Manager for York Sight Loss Council, Iain Mitchell says:

“York Sight Loss Council want to ensure that the Council allows blind and partially sighted people to have the same access rights as everybody else. We are not asking for any special treatment here.”

“Imagine the public outcry if this was being applied to all residents and visitors in York. Nobody should be disadvantaged due to their disability. York is a human rights City we implore all elected councillors to exercise their equality duty as set out in the Equality Act and reverse their decision to make this TRO permanent.”

York Sight Loss Council are working across all other disabled and human rights groups and have had representation at every council meeting to challenge the decision.

York SLC have written to York council objecting to the plans and urges the local authority to drop these proposals.

Read York Sight Loss Council’s formal objection letter to the proposed TRO, below:

York Sight Loss Council objection to Extended Foot-streets


Publication date: 29 October 2021

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