Easing disabled parking backlog

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THE views of neighbours will have reduced importance when people apply to have disabled parking bays outside their home.

Northumberland County Council’s executive this week approved a new policy regarding disabled parking bay requests in a bid to make it easier for those who need them.

The non-enforceable bays are cheaper and easier to put in place, as enforceable bays can only be introduced under a traffic regulation order (TPO), which can take months and cost around £1,500.

But although “legitimate objections” of neighbours will be taken into account as part of the changes, they cannot stop a bay being installed where the applicant meets a defined set of criteria, both with regard to disability and the layout of the road.

The report states: “Legitimate objections will be taken into consideration in determining the outcome of the application.

“As the disabled bay provided will be advisory the goodwill of the neighbours will be key to the success of the bay.”

Caroline Bruce, corporate director of local services, said: “The policy is suggesting that neighbours’ views will be taken into account but won’t override when there is a genuine need for a disabled parking bay.”

The policy aims to deal with the backlog of requests built up in its absence and is set to make it easier for those who genuinely need disabled parking, without jeopardising road safety.

Coun Alan Armstrong said: “It is vital that we go ahead with this.”