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York Blue Badge Parking Ban Protest At Lib Dem Conference

March 21, 2023

Campaigners opposing a ban on disabled parking in York have protested outside the national Liberal Democrats spring conference in the city.

The permanent ban in pedestrianised areas of the city centre was introduced in November 2021.

About 80 disabled people and their supporters gathered for the event outside the Barbican Centre on Saturday

Afterwards demonstrators said delegates from different parts of the country had made “supportive comments” to them.

York disability activist Flick Williams, who last month received an out of court settlement from City of York Council over access issues, said campaigners held the demonstration to “assert their disability rights”.

The council in York is controlled by a Lib Dem/Green coalition.

Ms Williams said: “If the Greens were having a conference, we’d be protesting outside their conference too!”

The protest was organised by campaign group Reverse the Ban.

A spokesperson for the group said protesters were joined at one point by Julie Adams Hatch, a disabled Liberal Democrat from Devon, who was attending the conference and told those assembled that she would raise the issue with the party internally.

York-born actor Dame Judi Dench recently called for an end to the ban on disabled parking in the city.

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

The 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.

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