Robert Halfon proposes Disability Charter for Harlow

General / Wed 14th Sep 2022 am30 09:27am

HARLOW MP Robert Halfon is set to present a petition to Harlow Council which calls for a “Disability Charter”.

The petition states:

Petition from Rt. Hon. Robert Halfon MP

“Disability Charter Proposal

i) Install new signs, repaint the lines and install ANPR cameras in all council-owned disabled parking spaces. 

Automatic penalty fines must be issued to anyone who enters a disbaled car park or car park space who is not a blue badge holder. This could be done automatically by the ANPR and the revenue from this is used to further improve disabled accessibility across the town.

ii) Enforce penalties on parking and vehicles blocking dropped-kerbs in Harlow areas that inconvenience people with reduced mobility.

iii) Increase support for blind residents by ensuring that cones are present and working on all pedestrian crossings and ensure A-Boards and pavement furniture are within designated, cordoned areas that facilitate navigation for white cane and guide-dog users.

iv) Audit and take subsequent action to ensure all council owned disabled toilets are fully accessible to users using a criteria weighted on space and ease of access.

v) Write to all private landowners in the town who have disabled parking spaces on their land calling upon them to fully enforce blue badge parking with ANPR cameras and parking wardens, and to ensure their disabled toilets are fully accessible to users and not used for storage.

vi) Review the allocation of disabled car parking in council owned areas to ensure it is as close as possible to buildings such as the Civic Centre and Playhouse and take subsequent action to relocate closer to the building if possible.”

The petition will be heard later this year at the council offices in The Water Gardens.

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14 Comments for Robert Halfon proposes Disability Charter for Harlow:

Kim Oconnor
2022-09-14 09:37:53

Stop people parking on curbs on every street in this town, by issuing fines. There's no excuses for it. I can hardly get round them with my big retriever dog, so god knows what it's like for wheel chair users. This needs to be addressed. You shouldn't have to go in road to get round theses cars, lorrys.

2022-09-14 10:00:57

I'm not sure how ANPR can be used for this. A person not a car holds a blue badge on display so unless ANPR recognises the blue badge itself it's mostly useless for this purpose. But I totally agree something needs to be done to stop selfish people parking where they shouldn't.

Mr Grumpy
2022-09-14 14:27:18

Fine mobility scooter users for going too fast in pedestrian zones. It works both ways I'm afraid !!

2022-09-14 17:31:09

Carole & Mr Grumpy: agree on both accounts. Carole’s observation needs a bit more thought.

2022-09-14 17:45:36

Does the council keep track of its disabled bays? E.g. if the disabled person dies, moves away, etc., their bay should be painted over (unless another disabled person is now there). Other than that I'm broadly in favour. I think all pedestrian crossings with traffic lights should make an audible beeping sound. Not all do. And remember, not all disabilities are visible :-)

2022-09-14 18:42:49

About time something was done about people using disabled parking ! I’d like to see kerb dropping too for the disabled!

2022-09-14 21:00:04

I’m not sure ANPR is applicable as it can often be the holder travelling in a family members car. There is way way too much pavement parking in this town forcing wheelchair users to abandon their journey or see if somebody can help them with the kerbs, focus is needed in this area.

Chris Lions
2022-09-14 21:43:35

Parking on pavements and grassed areas appears to be the norm in Harlow. Lorries, large vans and cars block access for disabled and abled bodied pedestrians, I've had prams crossing my garden because the pavement is completely blocked. Perhaps the parking partnership should start issuing tickets

2022-09-14 22:07:18

Potter street has been a ongoing problem for many years people parking on the pavement on both sides making it difficult for the visually impaired people in wheelchairs and mothers with prams to access the pavement they have to go in the road to get past the cars

2022-09-15 06:37:48

How will ANPR work in this situation? I am a blue badge holder and I have my own vehicle but will also use my badge with other vehicles when I am getting lifts or need help. Blue badges are issued to people not vehicles. I’m assuming Robert Halfon knows this is the case. Section taken from a post regarding how this would work: High Wycombe TRIAL A COUNCIL will offer blue badge holders two dispensation options as it prepares to trial its mooted camera operated car-parking system. Wycombe District Council said it has plans in place for blue badge holders after several contacted the BFP to express their concerns about the introduction of the Automatic Number Plate Recognition system. Badge holders who only use one vehicle will be able to register it, display the badge as normal, and the ANPR system will not charge them. The second option, for blue badge holders who have access to more than one vehicle or who rely on lifts from relatives, will be issued a “payment card” on registering their details with the council. WDC said motorists would still have to display the blue badge but, on returning to their car, they would use the card to wipe off the parking charge. ANPR, which reads number plates as they enter and exit car-parks and automatically calculates how long vehicles have stayed, will be installed at all WDC car-parks, bar four, if a two-month trial is successful. The trial period starts in the Easton Street and Railway Place car-parks in High Wycombe from April and, if successful, will be rolled out town-by-town - starting in Princes Risborough - by the end of October.

Phil Maggs
2022-09-15 08:16:37

With regards to i) above, ANPR cameras are prohibited by the UK Government for monitoring of council and local authority car parks because they are not fit for purpose. Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 para 87 as amended by the Deregulation Act 2015 section 53 (*addition of para 87a *) applies. With regards to v) above, the Blue Badge scheme does not apply on private land. Penalising a disabled person who does not have a blue badge would constitute discrimination of a person with protected characteristics in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. Mr Halfon needs to understand the impact that breaching existing Acts of parliament will cause if he goes ahead with his suggestions as they currently exist.

Mr Neil Rickards
2022-09-15 08:18:02

STOP lorries parking in KINGSMOOR ROAD, (NOW)

2022-09-15 15:57:29

I think the council and our MPs need to look further afield on the definition of disability isn't just restricted to "blue badge holders". As an autistic individual I get lumped in the "disabled" category. I do function perfectly fine, however do have disabling properties in certain situations. I could argue the fact that you nurotypical are the disabled ones with less brain efficiency and becoming too emotionally involved with things. Disability isn't just a blue badge, it's being able to treat everybody the same. Something that the council claims they do, but in proven reality they don't. They have champions in diversity and equality yet I get discriminated because I have to use a certain means of communication only and they fail to understand what stress it causes me. Amazing how much a disabled person is assumed to be less physically able only, cara, parking, toilet arrangements. Yet I don't see any council policy for handling autism, dyslexia, or other such like hidden disabilities when they send you a threatening letter!

2022-09-16 09:31:46

About time something is done. Although there are wider issues, what about the condition of the PAVEMENTS around the town my husband is disabled and can just about manage to walk a short distance without using a rollator or chair the pavements in Joyners Field are a disgrace they have been dug up and filled so many times that in some areas they are dangerous even for able bodied people. How about getting these sorted as well.

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