York’s counter-terrorism measures make the center a ‘no go-zone’ for the disabled | York

Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.

York Accessibility Action (YAA), an organization founded by disabled York residents and caregivers, said the city has become a “no go-zone” for many disabled people and that there was now no adequate parking within 150 meters of the city center.

They believe that the Council’s unanimous vote to stop disabled parking in pedestrian areas to make room for the deployment of terrorist defenses is in violation of the Gender Equality Act 2010 and the human rights of disabled residents and visitors.

They have instructed a lawyer for disability discrimination and are investigating whether they have a case for judicial review.

On Friday, they launched a crowdfunding campaign to help cover their legal fees and quickly raised almost half of their £ 5,000 target.

A parking ban was first introduced in the summer of 2020 during the pandemic to increase the space for social distancing on the streets around York Minster.

But on Thursday, the council voted to make the ban permanent despite objections from disabled residents and advocates.

Alison Hume, a member of the YAA, whose son Edward Mitten, 22, has autism and complex disabilities, accused the council of discrimination and of “permanently excluding” disabled people from the city.

She said it is not only a parking problem but also a problem for disabled people taking taxis and for those for whom their cars can act as safe spaces, cafes and toilets when outside their homes.

Speaking at Thursday’s meeting, Hume said: “The Council does not listen to us when we tell them about the misery inflicted on disabled residents and their families … Maybe they will listen to us if we can prove that they has discriminated against people with disabilities. “

She said many disabled people avoid York at all if they can because, she said, “it has become a no-go zone”.

The group said that all attempts at communication with the council had not achieved a meaningful result and that they had had no choice but to seek redress.

Natasha Rawnsley, blue badge holder and member of the YAA, said she has not been able to get into York since last fall, saying it has become “impossible”.

A spokesman for the city council said: “The council has a duty to protect the lives of residents and visitors, but we know it will have a significant impact on some holders of the blue badge to make it as effective as the police advises.”

The spokesman added: “Proposals to improve access throughout the city include the reintroduction of blue badge access and parking at Castlegate from September and investment in additional blue badge parking bays in the city center.

“We are also committed to improving footpaths and access to toilets, installing benches, creating a new Access Officer role to lead in future access work and exploring the potential of an electric shuttle bus to help disabled people get into and around the city. center.

“We know these initiatives will make a difference for many blue badge holders in the city, and we will continue to engage with residents and partners on these issues.”

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