Hereford doesn’t have enough parking spaces for disabled drivers, a disabled city resident has claimed.

“Since acquiring a Blue Badge (disabled parking permit) to help me get around, I've noticed that car parks within Hereford have a distinct lack of disabled parking bays compared to other cities I have visited,” Ellie Walker said.

Having delved into data provided by Herefordshire Council, which operates most of the city’s car parks, she found these contain 1,602 parking spaces – of which just 44, or 2.75 per cent, are marked as for disabled drivers.


These have extra space to help those with limited mobility.

“When I’m using my crutches, I need the additional space,” according to Mrs Walker, whose fibromyalgia put paid to her previous work as a sports photographer.

“Trying to get out of the driver’s seat whilst getting onto my crutches in a regular parking space can be an absolute ball-ache,” she added.

She also discovered that official statistics show that 4.75 per cent of people in Herefordshire, numbering nearly 9,000, are Blue Badge holders – a figure close to the national average.

“Yet of the 15 Herefordshire Council car parks I looked at, four of them have no disabled bays at all,” she said.

The only one of the 15 whose share of disabled bays exceeds the share of Blue Badge holders in the county is the St Martins car park south of the river, some way from the city’s main amenities.

“I am just wondering why there are so few disabled bays within Hereford and why Herefordshire Council are so willing to let down the disabled community,” Mrs Walker said.

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Her points were put to Herefordshire Council.

Disability Rights UK head of policy Fazilet Hadi said the Equality Act 2010 “imposes an obligation on all public bodies to have due regard to the needs of those with protected characteristics when making decisions”.

He was not able to say whether Herefordshire’s provision of disabled parking spaces was untypical.

A House of Commons briefing published a year ago confirmed that while the law does not require authorities to provide disabled parking, they must not “do anything that constitutes discrimination, harassment or victimisation”.