New report reviews York's blue badge ban

Fri,14 April 2023
News Transport

The campaign group Reverse the Ban has published a new research report entitled: 'The Blue Badge test in York: Can the realisation of disabled people's rights and the prevention of terrorism be reconciled'. It was prepared for by postgraduate students in International Human Rights and Practice students at York Law School. 

The research looked at how Disabled people had been banned from using their Blue Badge to enter large parts of York City centre in Nov 2021, following a temporary ban from the start of the Covid pandemic). It found that The removal of access had wide-ranging impacts, not only affecting current and future Blue Badge holders but also their family members and carers.

The study took place between October and February and interviewed counter-terror academics and disability rights academics, including from the University of Oxford, London School of Economics, University of Leeds, and Durham University; the former-Superintendent of North Yorkshire Police; a disability expert; a city planner; an access expert; the founder of York Access Hub and the York ME Community; and the Chair of CYC's Protect and Prepare (Counter Terrorism) Task Group.

Our spokesperson said: "The findings of this important independent study make for sobering reading. Disabled people, like non-disabled people, want their council to protect them from terrorist threats, but this action has singled them out unnecessarily. The ban has taken an intense toll on the emotional and mental health of many disabled people, their friends and family and has taken away our right to move around the city like non-disabled people."

Fazilet Hadi, Head of Policy at Disability Rights UK said:

"York's exclusion of thousands of Disabled citizens from their city centre by imposing an absolute ban on blue badge parking is hugely discriminatory. It has stopped thousands of Disabled people and their families from accessing public services and social, retail and cultural opportunities open to all other citizens. 

This report strips away the spurious justification that the ban was necessary to prevent terrorism. We urge York City Council to consider the report and reverse the ban." 

Download Reverse the Ban's report