Page last updated at 15:50 GMT, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 16:50 UK

Disabled parking charges scrapped

Disabled badge sign
The charges were introduced on 3 August by Gedling Borough Council

A Nottingham borough has scrapped car park charges for disabled badge holders eight days after they were introduced.

From now on blue badge holders will be able to park free for up to three hours in any available space in Gedling Borough Council-owned car parks.

Charges of up to 60p an hour for all car users were brought in on 3 August despite massive opposition.

Gedling Borough Council said the charge would help encourage short stay parking and pay for better facilities.

But some shopkeepers said the fees would drive shoppers to supermarkets where they could park for free.

'Difficult decision'

The decision on scrapping charges for disabled drivers was taken at a meeting on Tuesday.

Council Deputy Leader John Parr said: "I have discussed this issue at length with many blue badge holders recently and as a result I have reflected on the decision made by the council."

Councillor Jenny Spencer said: "Whilst the introduction of car park charging has been a difficult decision, it will be good for the local shopping areas by providing a greater turnover of parking and allowing us to reinvest in car parks. But we do recognise that the special needs of disabled drivers need to be taken into account."

Earlier in the year, about 7,000 people signed a petition opposing the introduction of car parking charges.

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