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Disabled Parking Reform After Birmingham Campaigner Challenges Department of Transport Regulations

Roger Williams has successfully campaigned for better disabled parking spaces in Birmingham city centre. Mr Williams needs a mobility scooter to access to city centre. He has an adapted vehicle which enables him to get his mobility scooter out of the rear of the vehicle.

Over the past few years Mr Williams has found that the majority of the disabled parking bays in Birmingham city centre were too short in length, making it extremely difficult for him to park his car and get his scooter out of the back safely. This meant that there were very few spaces which he could use, making access to the city centre impossible at certain times of the day.

Mr Williams carried out his own research and discovered that most of the parking bays did not comply with standards set by the Department of Transport regarding the length of disabled parking bays. Mr Williams decided to join Birmingham City Council’s Transportation Scrutiny Committee to make his concerns heard but with limited success.

In May 2012, Mr Williams instructed Irwin Mitchell to assist with his campaign to ensure that disabled parking bays complied with national standards. With the help of Roger’s solicitor Fiona McGhie , Mr Williams was able to persuade Birmingham City Council to ensure that during its extensive restructuring of Birmingham city centre taking place in 2012 and 2013, it would make provision for all disabled parking bays to comply with the national standards.

In September 2013, Birmingham City Council confirmed that it has decided to mark individual bays at the length of 6.6 metres in compliance with national standards and that 12 have already been marked out. It confirmed that plans for the remaining 88 bays in the city centre area to be marked to a length of 6.6 metres, will take place over the next few weeks. Irwin Mitchell has asked Birmingham City Council to ensure that dropped kerbs are placed next to all disabled parking bays to enable access.

Mr Williams says “I am pleased that after many years of tireless campaigning, Birmingham City Council are now ensuring that there are enough disabled parking bays of the right length in the city centre. This will make a huge difference to all mobility vehicle users in Birmingham and they will now be able to access the city centre more easily”.

For expert advice regarding disability rights, please contact Fiona McGhie of Irwin Mitchell's Public Law & Human Rights team on 0370 1500 100 or complete our enquiry form.

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