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New pilot scheme aims to help disabled people maintain mobility and independence

A NEW pilot scheme is being introduced this year to help disabled people access a parking space near their property if they don’t have a driveway.

Pembrokeshire County Council will be accepting applications for Disabled Persons Parking Places (DPPPs) from Monday 20th June for a six-week period.  

For the first year of the scheme a maximum of ten places will be available. If the pilot is a success, more places will be installed in the coming years and applicants who meet the criteria will go onto the waiting list if they are not successful this year.

A successful permit will cost £20 annually. The application process can take a minimum of six months.

Cabinet unanimously backed the provision of the scheme in March.

Cllr Rhys Sinnett, Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services and Leisure, said the aim is to help a disabled person to maintain their independence and also improve their quality of life

“Parking is such a significant issue for many householders at the moment and none more so than disabled persons. This pilot scheme will begin to address the need to provide parking places located as near to the property as practical to help disabled people whose mobility impairment is such that they cannot walk any significant distance,” he said.

Jessica Hatchett, Access Officer for Pembrokeshire County Council, said a great deal of work has gone into the scheme, including consulting Pembrokeshire Access Group, other local authorities and setting up a working group.

“We’re really keen to find the best way to make this work and set up a good, workable scheme for years to come,” she said.

Jessica added: “It can be very difficult to get out and about when you have a disability and if you also have the stress of about whether you can park close to your property when you come home, it can be very worrying.”

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In order to help those most in need of the provision of a DPPP, applications will only be considered if:

•           The applicant has a Blue Badge

•           The applicant owns and drives/is driven in a vehicle that is registered at the address of the proposed location of the disabled bay.

•           The applicant does not already have access to off-street parking or be able to provide an off-street parking space by clearing an existing drive/hard standing or by bringing back into use an existing garage.

Meeting the above criteria does not guarantee that a DPPP will be provided; only that the application will be assessed for suitability. Applicants should not provide any additional evidence unless asked to do so.

The Council will not consider a DPPP provision in the following locations:

•           In the turning head facility of any cul-de-sac.

•           In any location where an existing prohibition or restriction of parking (inclusive of permit parking), of waiting or loading is in place or is being considered by the Council.

•           Within 10 metres of a road junction.

•           At locations where there is a history of visibility related collisions.

•           In a position that may prevent the passing of normal traffic flows.

•           In a position where a parked vehicle will be unsighted to travelling vehicles such as on a bend.

•           On un-adopted highway or private land.

•           Other areas where highway safety is deemed to be compromised