Disabled Tax Exempt Vehicle Holders have until Friday 29 January to give their views on proposed changes to their free parking concession in Poole.
Borough of Poole has been consulting on three options:
• to provide a one year permit for £25
• to provide a three year permit for £60
• for Disabled Tax Exempt Vehicle (DTEV) Holders to pay for a parking ticket each time they park
The permit options will enable DTEV Holders to park in any council run public car park in Poole without having to pay for a ticket.
These proposed changes have come after the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) ceased issuing paper tax discs last year for vehicles to display. Later on the DVLA allowed access to a web portal to help local authorities to continue to offer the free parking concession. Local authorities were able to check the tax class of all vehicles to determine if a vehicle was entitled to free parking. However, following complaints that such information was in the public domain, the DVLA removed the web portal meaning local authorities were no longer able to check eligibility.
To overcome this issue, Borough of Poole began to compile a local database of DTEV Holders. However this provision of a locally registered database and enforcement service is likely to cost the council around £60,000 in 2015/16. The proposed option for car park permit fees ensures that the council provides a cost-neutral service to DTEV Holders.
Jason Benjamin, Car Parking Manager, Borough of Poole, said: "So far we have received over 900 responses to the consultation via the council’s website and in writing. There is still time for people to give their views on these charging proposals and we would encourage anyone who has an exemption to take part."
Councillor Drew Mellor, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transportation, Borough of Poole, said: "For many years we have been able to offer free parking in all our pay and display car parks for vehicles which are Disability Tax Exempt. Due to changes by the DVLA, information on such vehicles is no longer freely available. In addition it is no longer possible for us to financially support all the services and concessions that we would like. Therefore, the council has looked at options to make this concession cost neutral, and would only be making a charge to cover our costs for administering this service. The results of the consultation will be discussed at the Transport Advisory Group when a final decision will be made."
People can respond to the consultation online at poole.gov.uk/DTEVC by 29 January. The results will be presented to the Transport Advisory Group on 10 March 2016 with a view to implementing any changes from 2 May 2016.