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Blue Badge holders complain over ‘tiny’ signs for free parking hour

LOCAL disabled drivers have hit out again at Wiltshire Council over its controversial Blue Badge scheme.

They say the new signage announcing a one-hour free grace period for Blue Badge holder on parking tickets in Wiltshire Council-owned car parks is far too small and difficult to spot.

Wiltshire Council caused a stir last year when they introduced charges for Blue Badge holders, a decision met with outrage from the local community. However, in response to the uproar, the council agreed to grant Blue Badge holders an additional hour on any parking ticket in council-run car parks. This decision was reached back in January, with the council promising to implement the grace period “as soon as possible”. It was only last month, six months on and following a story in Melksham News, that the council finally put the scheme into action.

But rather than placing prominent notices in the car parks, the council chose to incorporate the details in small print beneath the parking prices displayed on ticket machines. This decision has left Blue Badge holders feeling angry, as they believe the information is too small to effectively communicate the changes to the public. Many are questioning how anyone would even know that the scheme is now active.

Tony Seager, a Blue Badge holder, expressed his dissatisfaction, saying, “The information is ridiculously small. I would need my reading glasses and I suspect a lot of drivers are still paying the extra. Wiltshire Council is getting enough money from parking already without penalising Blue Badge holders.

“The council didn’t want to introduce the grace period in the first place and now they are doing everything they can to stop people using it. It’s pretty shocking.”

Wiltshire Council cabinet member for transport, cllr Caroline Thomas, said, “The information relating to the additional time given to Blue Badge holders has been displayed on parking machines and within the machine’s tariff board menu since 1st August. Additional signage in car parks will also be installed shortly.”

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