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Free disabled parking in an Enfield Town multi-story car park could be lost as new proposals change paying system
Concerns have arisen surrounding the future of free disabled parking in an Enfield Town car park following reform proposals.
In a proposed new system at Palace Gardens multi-storey car park in Enfield Town centre, customers pick up a ticket on arrival and pay on the way out, instead of paying for the time they want to stay as they do currently.
This would affect disabled parkers who currently do no need to take a ticket once parked however, under potential new systems, all shoppers wishing to park in the multi-story would have to take a ticken upon arrival.
However, ME sufferer Alison Ainger, 53, of Parsonage Gardens, fears Enfield Borough Council plans could drive disabled people out of the town.
She said: “My biggest bugbear is that these new proposals will put disabled people at a disadvantage if the plans go through. If they just want to change the times they’re allowed why not just change the time? Why do they have to change the whole system?
“If they’re going to charge disabled people for parking, where can we park for free? There are lots of people who say we should pay. My husband is disabled as well. He has a prosthetic leg and poor eyesight. People don’t choose to be disabled so why can’t that little perk be one thing to ease their way of life?”
Having suffered from ME, sometimes known as chronic fatigue syndrome, for 13 years, Mrs Ainger believes she would be faced with little option but to shop elsewhere or go online which she says is not profitable for the local economy.
She said: “I would rather support local traders than go online but if this happens then I am afraid I will have to go online.
"To us, disabled car parking spaces are very important. People say you can park on yellow lines, but if you have to get someone out who is in a wheelchair, you can’t just park anywhere because you might be by a post box or bin.”
Enfield Disability Action's chief executive officer Aaron Dryden said: “Access to the high street can be a valuable lifeline for disabled people, and it is disappointing that having created a modern and accessible shopping experience we are now appear to be taking a step backwards in terms of accessible parking.
“Public transport isn't an option for a lot of disabled shoppers, and this could really restrict access to the facilities in Enfield Town.”
Consultations are still ongoing about the implementation of the new system.
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