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Newark and Sherwood District Council accused of discriminating against disabled people with its parking policy

A council is discriminating against disabled people, according to a recent visitor to Newark.

Newark and Sherwood District Council has been accused of having a discriminatory parking policy against wheelchair users by a Huddersfield man.

Mr John Oyston received a parking ticket while visiting the National Civil War Museum with his wife, Denise, and daughter, Bethany, last month.

The Oyston family at Beamish Museum, Durham.
The Oyston family at Beamish Museum, Durham.

Denise uses a wheelchair and needs plenty of space to get in and out of the car.

Mr Oyston says he checked the museum’s website for parking advice before leaving home because it was their first visit to Newark.

He said: “We planned to spend the whole afternoon at the museum and checked the sign for the carpark’s regulations.

“It was clear that the first three hours in a disabled bay were free and any other time we assumed was chargeable. I could not park in any other bay due to the space needed for Denise’s wheelchair.

“So I left the car with the timer on for three hours and returned at 2.34pm and paid for another three hours, removing the timer from the dashboard to avoid any confusion.

“When we got back to the car about 5pm we had received a parking ticket.”

The parking ticket was cancelled on appeal but John believes that it is a breach of the council’s duty to ensure all residents and service users are treated equally.

Mrs Oyston said she found the experience upsetting and humiliating.

“We had a lovely afternoon exploring the museum and the excellent café. Three hours would be far too short to do it justice.

“The only reason we got a parking ticket is because I am in a wheelchair and need extra space. The council’s policy makes it difficult, if not impossible, for me to park for over three hours anywhere in Newark”.

A spokesman for Newark and Sherwood District Council said: “Although the parking ticket was correctly issued, there are issues raised here, which we will need to further examine.

“In the meantime, the ticket has been revoked as a gesture of goodwill.”

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