A MOTHER has started an online petition calling on the council to reopen York’s pedestrian zones to Blue Badge holders - claiming the current restrictions discriminate against disabled people.

Alison Hume says City of York Council “has forgotten it has a legal duty to vulnerable residents” after extending the pedestrianised zone and preventing disabled drivers from accessing Blake Street, Goodramgate, Lendal, St Helen’s Square, Fossgate and Castlegate.

Alison, from Nether Poppleton, and her son Edward Mitten, 21, who has Pallister-Killian mosaic syndrome, led a socially-distanced protest at the Goodramgate barrier with other families on Sunday.

She said: “If you can’t walk on the so-called ‘foot streets’ easily or are not lucky enough to be able to ride a bike you are invisible to the council.

“The council has conveniently forgotten it has a legal duty to vulnerable residents who need to use taxis and cars to get to these places.

“Security guards are paid to stand by barriers all over the city, so presumably they could be instructed to lift them for Blue Badge holders and taxis carrying customers with disabilities and impairments.”

Alison said she will present the petition to the council when it reaches 1,000 supporters.

Leeann, a campaigner who did not want to give her surname, said: “I use a wheelchair and my adult daughter uses a specialist seating system.

“Now we can’t park in Goodramgate I feel like my family has been banned from the centre. It was already hard enough to get into York as a disabled family. Now it is impossible.”

A City of York Council spokesperson said:“We have had to change the way the city centre is managed, to meet public health guidance.

“We understand that these changes to foot streets will have caused some difficulties. This is why we have where possible put in place alternative measures and have altered them as concerns have been raised. We have added 50 extra designated disabled parking spaces at different locations across the city – on top of the free parking in all our car parks - and created a special free taxi for blue badge holders from Monk Bar Car Park to the City Centre.

“In order to consider these schemes properly and before any decisions are made about the longer term we are engaging with those most affected.

"We have therefore launched a consultation asking what is working, what needs to change and what we need to consider when we look at future arrangements to keep residents safe and protect jobs.

"I’d urge people and groups to join the conversation and help us make sure that everyone can enjoy our city.”