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Council is set to look at parking ban again
COUNCIL chiefs will look again at a decision that banned disabled drivers from parking in Witney town centre.
Oxfordshire County Council imposed a ban on loading and unloading along one side of High Street to help buses pass through the congested road.
That ban extends to blue badge holders.
Previously, the road had double yellow lines running along its stretch, which disabled drivers could park on.
But Witney traffic Advisory Committee voted last week to lift the loading ban and County Hall has promised to look again at the issue.
A decision is expected to be made early next year.
Blue Badge holder Ian Calcutt, 71, of Madley Park, said: “This is what we have been asking for.
“It will make a world of difference because I will be able to go into the Co-operative, the chemist and the 99p Store. We cannot get there at the moment.”
Mr Calcutt was left disabled after he contracted necrotising fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease, in his left leg. His son Matthew, 27, has cerebral palsy and his wife Elaine, 59, has diabetes. The family used to park in front of Boots and the Co-op in High Street to visit the chemist and go shopping a couple of times a week.
To ease congestion and allow buses to pass, Witney Traffic Advisory group suggested removing three general parking bays along the opposite side of the street.
Mr Calcutt said disabled people were often unable to use these parking spaces because they filled up early in the day. He said disabled bays in Marriotts Walk Shopping Centre and Witan Way were too far away to walk to High Street shops.
Rodney Rose, county council cabinet member for transport, said: “We are looking at it because we have had complaints. We are still working to try and make sure we get something that suits everyone.”
He said he hoped a decision would be taken before March of next year.
But county council member for Witney East David Robertson, pictured, who attended the traffic advisory meeting, said: “I voted against the idea because I know from my experience on transport how much discussion went into getting the solution that went into place.
“My view was that we should not be taking a decision without the background information and knowing why it was changed in the first place. “All we were getting was the disabled people’s views.”