A woman with multiple sclerosis was charged nearly £4,000 to create a disabled parking bay outside her home.
Deb Race, from St Austell in Cornwall, slammed the ‘extortionate’ £3,800 price tag and in the end decided against paying for a space.
Instead she is now forced to carry items to and from her car parked up the road – which she says is extrememly painful.
‘Just carrying anything up the road from the car is really difficult and each step is painful,’ Deb told the BBC.
‘To find nearly £4,000 and then have a lottery still as to whether I could park outside my house was totally prohibitive.
‘It didn’t seem fair.’
Cornwall Council charges applicants thousands of pounds to have a disabled bay installed, where it is free in other parts of the country.
Councillor Richard Pears said the authority is ‘effectively charging people for being disabled’ and argues the cost should be subsidised.
Currently, if you are disabled or someone in your household is disabled and has a blue badge for parking, you can apply to have a disabled parking bay marked outside your home.
The bay does not guarantee the parking space, but it can help make parking easier.
A report from council officers revealed Cornwall Council charges £3,800 for the service, but in Leicestershire the charges are just £100, Plymouth City Council charges £40 and Cumbria County Council and Devon County Council has no charge.
The matter will be discussed at a full council meeting today.
In the report going to council Mr Pears states: ‘Most councils choose to keep the costs of applying for and implementing a disabled residential space low because they do not want to pass on the costs to the driver who is having to use it through no fault of their own.’
Cornwall Council said the cost is for a Traffic Regulation Order, advertising, public consultation and painting the new bay.
However, once installed the space does not guarantee parking for an individual as it is available for any disabled person to use.
Mr Pears said: ‘It’s completely extortionate. We’re charging £3,800 down in Cornwall, one of the most deprived areas of the country. It’s completely unfair.’
This content was originally published here.