#City & Town Planning
Reading Borough Council and local/regional MPs
United Kingdom

Earlier this year Reading Borough Council instigated a number of changes to disabled parking bays and the times during which they can be accessed.

These changes include restricting access to the majority of the on road bays immediately surrounding the town centre so that they may only be accessed from 11am to 4pm and again after 7pm.

The roads most affected are St Mary's Butts, West Street and Friar Street

This has made it unreasonably difficult for many disabled people to access the shops and other facilities in the town.

A council representative has claimed that the the majority of people are happy with the changes, this is obviously true as the majority of people are not disabled and have little or no understanding of the real life ramifications of these changes for disabled people.

Examples of things that are now virtually impossible for many disabled people to do include:

A drink out with work friends/ family after work,
A meal before seeing a show at the local theatre
Early morning shopping to beat the crowds
Staying in town after shopping to eat out
Getting to one of the opticians who has served the community for many years
Getting to a number of well known high street shops

The current proposals to resolve the access issues appears to be to force all blue badge holders into wheelchairs of some form (Shop mobility) regardless of their individual needs and to expect the local shops/traders to cover the cost.

With economic downturn comes cuts, and the proposals leave disabled people reliant upon the funding of retailers/traders and upon charities. If they decide to remove the funding in the future, disabled people will be yet again unable to use the town and its facilities

The only long term way to ensure access to the town for disabled people during the same periods as able bodied people is to provide appropriately placed kerbside parking that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We the undersigned call upon Reading Borough Council to provide appropriately spaced and placed kerbside/on street disabled parking bays in and around Reading town centre that are not subject to time restrictions.

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The Allow disabled people access to all on street parking bays 24/7 petition to Reading Borough Council and local/regional MPs was written by K Hounslow and is in the category City & Town Planning at GoPetition.