SENIOR councillors in Wrexham have scrapped car parking charges for disabled people in a bid to help the town’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fees were controversially introduced for blue badge holders parking in council-owned car parks in the county borough in 2018.
The decision was made by Wrexham Council in a bid to save £25,000 a year, despite disabled drivers previously being able to park for free.
The charges have now been binned as officials look to improve accessibility in Wrexham town centre following a significant drop in visitors during the pandemic.
Speaking at a meeting of the local authority’s executive board council leader Mark Pritchard said:
“Wrexham Council is keen to support the Covid recovery within the town centre and within Wrexham.
“Initially we had free town parking for all, followed by the current free after 11am initiative in the town centre.
“This proposal seeks to further support the economy, but it also encourages visitors to our car parks.
“In addition, this proposal will ensure improved accessibility and flexibility for parking for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”
Hundreds of people signed a petition against the introduction of parking charges for disabled people when they were first proposed.
The council said at the time that while it had a statutory duty to provide disabled parking spaces, it was not obliged to offer them for free.
However, Offa councillor Alun Jenkins said the fees shouldn’t have been introduced in the first place.
“I was very uneasy and very unhappy with the decision some years ago to introduce a charge for disabled people.
“It’s good to see that we’re going to reverse that decision and to make no charge for this.”
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