No space for disabled drivers

With no funding for disabled parking spaces for three years, and a backlog of applications still to be assessed, disabled drivers have been left stranded by Oldham Council.

Local Liberal Democrat Councillor Garth Harkness queried the lack of funding at the March Council meeting. He said: “It’s unfair that this Council has singled out disabled drivers again. If you’re disabled and you have a vehicle, then you need to be able to access it easily.”

Garth Harkness at the new 20mph zone in Uppermill

Saddleworth West and Lees candidate Mark Kenyon has repeatedly called for the Council to look at providing advisory parking bays, which provide a much more cost-effective way to indicate that disabled parking is required.

He said: “When we raised this with the Council at first, they claimed that the bays were illegal – which they had to acknowledge was incorrect when we showed them that the Parliamentary reports allowing them, and even that several boroughs across Greater Manchester were already using them.

“This could be cheaper and simpler for the Council to implement – done well it would be a win all round, for the Council and for residents with disabilities who need better access to their cars.”

Mark Kenyon with one of the many potholes on Thornley Lane, Grotton

Councillor Harkness concluded: “Council officials have committed to assessing all outstanding applications by next month and consulting with the Labour Cabinet Member to get a clear indication of their spending priorities. After failing to provide a disabled parking bay for three years, I hope that will now see the importance of this.”

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