One of Scott Moncrieff’s Equality & Human Rights lawyers has been selected by campaign group York Accessibility Action to advise on a decision which excludes 7,500 blue badge holders from York’s historic city centre.
The controversial scheme began as an experimental one brought in at the beginning of the Covid pandemic but was gradually extended until the Council made it permanent following a vote on 18/11/2021.
Leading disability rights lawyer Chris Fry, who recently succeeded in obtaining a declaration of discrimination against the Cabinet Office in a public law challenge, and who has a history of challenging similar streetscape cases in Worksop, Colchester and Reading has been providing pro bono assistance, but is now assisting York Accessibility Action to crowdfund to obtain technical legal advice necessary to explore a full public and private law challenge.
“The team at York Accessibility Action is incredibly well organised and has presented credible evidence of the impact that this decision will have on disabled residents and visitors. I am now working with them to ensure that every option for challenging the decision can be considered in depth and as quickly as possible. All eyes are on York as other Councils and Boroughs around the country consider taking similar action.
Finding parts of cities and towns off limits is not only damaging to individuals, but also businesses who will lose out on the substantial spending power that disabled people bring to the High Street.”
Speaking of the upcoming challenge the group said,
"We are delighted to have instructed the leading specialist disability discrimination lawyer Chris Fry to look into to whether we have a legal case. It does feel very David & Goliath but with Chris on our side, the devastating decision to permanently exclude disabled people from York may not be the end of the story.”
If you would like to support fundraising for the case, please follow the link here.