Improved parking system for disabled residents
By Luchia Robinson
Haringey Council has ushered in the first wave of policy changes to disabled parking across the borough.
A new Dedicated Disabled Bay parking system, which is to be launched from December onwards, will see parking bays (allocated to disabled residents for their sole use) installed either outside, or near their home or workplace.
At present, applicants can apply for a disabled bay, and if fulfilling the current criteria of automatic entitlement (which is based mostly upon the receipt of benefits), they will have a bay installed close to the home.
Residents currently with one of the 2,800 disabled bays in the borough, can ‘opt in’ to the new Dedicated Disabled Bay system, by submitting a new application.
Standard, generic disabled bays that are outside of the dedicated parking scheme, will still be available for other blue badge holders to use.
The parking policy also introduces a new eligibility criteria and a formal disabled bay appeals process.
The eligibility criteria are being introduced because many disabled residents do not receive disability benefits, yet still need a parking space because of their disability.
Cllr Seema Chandwani, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “This policy will introduce a mobility assessment so that residents are judged on their physical need and not their entitlement or claim to benefit.
“This will ensure that disabled bays are allocated to all that require them. It will also remove the discriminatory bias that assumes that all disabled people claim benefits.”
The introduction of the appeals process will allow those whose parking bay applications are rejected, 30 days to contest the decision.
The new parking policy will also encompass changes made by the Department for Transport to include hidden disabilities to the blue badge criteria, which came into force in August. This includes people with anxiety disorders, brain injuries, and those who cannot walk as part of a journey without considerable psychological distress or the risk of serious harm.