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Dame Judi Dench Backs Call To Overturn York Blue Badge Ban

March 13, 2023

    Dame Judi Dench has given her “wholehearted support” to campaigners calling for a ban on blue badge parking in York city centre to be lifted.

    A permanent ban on disabled parking in pedestrianised areas was introduced in November 2021.

    The decision angered many of those affected, who said they had been made to feel like “second-class citizens”.

    Marilyn Crawshaw, from the group Reverse The Ban, said Dame Judi’s support was “a great boost”.

    She said the group was “absolutely delighted” to have received a message from the James Bond star, who was born in the Heworth area of York.

    The Oscar-winning actor, 88, said: “York city centre is a rare jewel that should be free for all to enjoy, including those with a disability and for whom accessible parking is essential.

    “As someone living with sight loss, I know only too well how gaining access to places can be exceptionally difficult.

    “York city centre should be fully accessible through these types of schemes.

    “I should like to offer my wholehearted support to people in the City of York who are asking the local council to reconsider any ban to the blue badge scheme in the city centre.”

    Ms Crawshaw said “When we have somebody like Dame Judi Dench coming out and supporting us it’s a great boost to us.

    “It’s lovely to think that somebody with such a high profile is willing to speak out.”

    Ms Crawshaw said Dame Judi’s words were “particularly heart-warming and encouraging and we hope it will help the situation change.”

    The parking ban came into force after the council installed anti-terror measures to prevent the risk of so-called hostile vehicle attacks.

    Councillors previously said they had approved a series of mitigation measures, including dropped kerbs, the employment of an access officer and a feasibility study into an accessible shuttle service.

    Ms Crawshaw said postgraduate students from the University of York had conducted research into the way counter-terror measures could be reconciled with meeting the rights of disabled people.

    She told BBC Radio York the group planned to issue findings from the research soon.

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