York Lord Mayor's yellow line limo sparks blue badge row

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Lord Mayor's limousineImage source, Ben Phillips
Image caption,
The Lord Mayor's car was spotted parked on yellow lines in Goodramgate on Sunday 5 December

People with disabilities say the sight of the Lord Mayor's car parked in York city centre after blue badge holders were banned from doing so shows they are seen as "second class citizens".

In November, disabled parking in pedestrianised areas was banned in central York as an anti-terror measure.

Local resident Ben Phillips spotted the council limousine parked on Goodramgate on yellow lines on Sunday 5 December.

City of York Council has apologised and said an investigation would take place.

Mr Phillips said he had photographed the Lord Mayor's limousine at about 18:30 GMT on Sunday.

"I thought it really summed up the council and their general behaviour in all ways, and the arrogance and disdain they've shown to those with accessibility issues," he added.

York councillors voted unanimously last month to permanently prevent disabled parking in pedestrianised areas to allow anti-terror defences to be installed.

It came despite objections from disabled residents and their families, with York Accessibility Action subsequently launching a crowdfunding campaign saying it planned legal action against the move.

Image source, York Accessibility Action
Image caption,
Campaigners started a crowdfunding campaign to pay for legal action against the parking ban

After having seen the photograph of the Lord Mayor's car, York Accessibility Action tweeted: "Absolutely disgraceful that City of York Council think it's one rule for disabled people and another one for them."

Meanwhile, York Disability Rights Forum said the photograph was "further confirmation that disabled people and blue badge holders are seen as second class citizens by City of York Council".

Responding, the Lord Mayor Reverend Councillor Chris Cullwick told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the vehicle was not in use by civic officials that evening and engagements inside York's footstreets zone were always made on foot.

A charity Christmas dinner with the Lord Mayor was being held at York's Mansion House at 19:00 GMT that evening.

Janie Berry, director of governance at City of York Council, said: "We are sorry the civic car entered footstreets at Goodramgate on Sunday evening. It should not have done so as it did not have permission. 

"We are investigating to understand exactly how this happened and to make sure it doesn't happen again," she added.

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