Disabled drivers will soon have to pay to park in all council-run car parks in Wrexham.
The local authority is set to ratify plans to charge Blue Badge holders to park in all council-operated car parks where charges apply from April.
At the same meeting next week, Wrexham council’s cabinet is set to introduce charges at Nant Mill, Alyn Waters and Ty Mawr Country Parks within the county.
They have estimated they will rake in £25,000 for charging disabled people, with an income of £47,000 from country parks.
In a report ahead of the meeting, the council said: “In response to the need to make savings over the next two years, the environment and planning department has put forward a number of cost saving and income generation initiatives that minimise impact on the delivery of statutory and other essential frontline services; including charging for parking in country parks and disabled spaces in council-operated car parks.
“These initiatives were included in the recent ‘Difficult Decisions’ consultation exercise and the response received has generally been supportive of the proposal.
“Members are asked to approve the introduction of parking charges from 3 April 2018 in Nant Mill, Alyn Waters and Ty Mawr Country Parks and on disabled parking spaces in all council-operated off-street parking areas where charges apply.”
According to the council, disabled rates will be the same as non-disabled tariffs, but Blue Badge holders will be able to park for one additional hour beyond the time paid for.
A daily charge of £1 for visitors to the country parks will be introduced, with drivers also being offered an annual parking permit of £50.
The council added: “With an ageing population, the number of blue badge holders is expected to increase and with this the number of non-fee paying customers who require access to parking.
“Whilst it is acknowledged that those who suffer poor mobility are not afforded the same travel opportunities or choices, the blue badge scheme is not financially means-tested and, therefore, there is no need to assume that those people who hold blue badges are unable to pay for parking.”
The council warned that not adopting the proposals could mean cuts would have to come from front line services.
Wrexham council’s lead member for place – enviroment and transport, Cllr David A Bithell, said: “If we don’t implement these changes then they will lead to pressures for other services in the environment department.”We are not making any profit from this, but the money will go to replace money that has been taken away from the budget.”