Wrexham Council to scrap disabled parking charge next week

WREXHAM council appear set to scrap parking charges for the disabled in a bid to improve accessibility.

A fee was controversially introduced for blue badge holders parking in car parks owned by the County Borough Council in 2018.

The decision was taken by the local authority in a bid to save £25,000 a year when disabled drivers could previously park for free.

The charges could now be dropped as officials seek to review parking in Wrexham town center following a significant drop in visitor numbers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a report, council leader Mark Pritchard said: “During the early stages of the pandemic and initial lockdowns, general parking fees in the city center were suspended completely.

“More recently, parking fees have been reduced considerably, with the introduction of a ‘free after 11.00’ initiative.

“It will be important to review how the city center is used over the coming months of Covid recovery, to determine an appropriate longer term strategy for car parking.

“Following the health pandemic and as we move through the recovery period, it is important that we think about the development of our city center and the accessibility to the goods and services that this can and does provide.

“Consistent with this, it is proposed to waive parking fees for the disabled, which will ensure better parking accessibility and flexibility for some of our most vulnerable members of the community and visitors to the city.”

Hundreds of people signed a petition against disabled parking fees when they were first proposed.

The council said at the time that while it had a legal obligation to provide disabled parking spaces, it was not obliged to offer them free of charge.

Board members will consider the fee waiver proposals at their meeting on Tuesday, March 8.

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