Cornwall charging £4,000 for disabled bay

People with disabilities are being charged £3,800 by Cornwall Council for a designated parking bay outside their homes, which in Devon would be free.

The council has been accused of effectively taxing the most vulnerable in society by charging for a disabled parking spot.

Other authorities, including Devon, set up disabled bays for free or charge only a nominal fee.

The issue was raised at a council meeting on Tuesday.

Richard Pears, local councillor, said: “We all have to deal with busy streets across our county and the parking difficulties this causes. For most of us this is an inconvenience, we may have to park on another street and walk home with the shopping.

“But for people with some specific disabilities, this is just not an option. Without a guaranteed space outside their house they have no way to access their car, and we all know that in a rural area like ours a car can be a lifeline, the difference between having a job and losing it, the difference between being mobile and being confined to your home.

“Just across the border in Devon, accessible bays appear to be free. Here in Cornwall, one of the most deprived areas in Europe, we charge £3,800. We are charging 30 times more than the most expensive council we could find in Britain.

“The council’s current policy on accessible bays amounts to nothing more than a tax on disability.”