A FRESH campaign to persuade City of York Council to abandon its ban on Blue Badge holders from city centre footstreets has been launched.

Twenty-four disability and age related organisations and allies have come together to create the ‘Reverse the Ban’ coalition.

Campaigners want residents and visitors to sign postcards to the authority requesting the removal of the ban, and hope to present council leader Keith Aspden with bags full of ‘postcards’ in September.

A wheelchair and white cane have been placed in the window of Streetlife centre in Coney Street to symbolise the impact of the ban on people with disabilities.

Campaigner Diane Roworth said she put the empty wheelchair and a white cane in the window to symbolise disabled people's inability to attend Streetlife projects because of the Blue Badge ban. A sign by the wheelchair says that the council has banned Blue Badge holders from most of the city centre since November 2021 and Blue Badge spaces are now 'only only on the edges,' but says most Blue Badge holders qualify for one because they can't walk more than 50 metres.

"Come inside and learn more," it says. "Sign a postcard to the council leader. Tell them that this needs to change. Stop the discrimination. Support disabled people. Let's all enjoy our city."

Campaigner Marilyn Crawshaw said people could also complete and post a postcard at St Sampsons Centre and MySight York in Merchantgate, or email reversethebanyork@gmail.com.

Disability activist Flick Williams has claimed the ban is “blatant discrimination”while another campaigner, Alison Hume,said: "Everybody’s just one step away from disability. People can be disabled temporarily, they can have a life changing accident, or we age into disability."

Councillors voted unanimously last November to permanently prevent disabled parking in pedestrianised areas to allow anti-terror defences to be installed, insisting the move was essential as part of efforts to protect visitors and shoppers from terrorism.

A spokesperson said in April that the decision had been 'complex and difficult,' and the council recognised its duties to create a safe, accessible and thriving city centre, and protect the lives of residents and visitors.

They said the National Threat level was currently at Substantial, meaning that a terrorist attack was likely, and it was essential that vehicular access to the city centre was kept to an absolute minimum to ensure the effectiveness of security measures.

However, they said the council was introducing a series of mitigation measures, including dropped kerbs, the employment of an access officer and a feasibility study into an accessible shuttle service.

They said additional badge parking had been provided on the edge of the centre and more was being proposed.