Disabled driver to fight parking ticket in court

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A blue badge holder has said he would go to court to protest against a supposed lack of disabled parking spaces.

Anton Lang, who received a parking ticket when he left his vehicle on Meadow Road, Kettering, last month, said he will not pay the fine.

He said signs indicating what parking restrictions are in place – and if they apply to blue badge holders – are ambiguous.

And he said if badge holders were not allowed to park there, it effectively meant disabled people would be cut off from the town centre, which would be a “human rights issue”.

The 48-year-old from Oundle, who visits Kettering weekly to receive treatment, described the borough council as remiss for not providing enough parking for disabled people.

“I recognise pedestrian areas are for the safety of everybody,” he added. “But you have the Newlands Centre which has an area for disabled parking then nowhere else until you get towards the library.

“Disabled people are having to use the pedestrian area as a place for parking. One of the permissions for holding a blue badge is on the basis that the user cannot travel more than 100 metres without discomfort.

“As the nearest parking areas are further than 100 metres away, how does a disabled person find shops in Meadow Road accessible? It’s clearly not in conjunction with the blue badge scheme.”

Mr Lang, who used to run 30 miles every week but has needed a blue badge since the summer, said he hoped his case would not go to court, but would be “quite happy” to take the authorities to task if it did.

He added: “Someone needs to say, ‘We don’t need to go to court, this is ridiculous’.”

Kettering Borough Council (KBC) said it did not comment on individual cases, but added: “All parking in KBC car parks is free of charge for blue badge holders. In addition, the council has provided 40 dedicated blue badge holder spaces, providing extra width parking spaces to assist with mobility. Within the town centre pedestrian zones access and parking is permitted outside of peak hours, and, within the Market Street and Sheep Street public realm improvements, specific on-street disabled bays have been provided, again free of charge.”