Dec 06 - Government: Opposition Have “Distorted The Facts” On Blue Badge Parking

The Government says that it is obvious that the Opposition are “trying to create political mischief” through their “knee-jerk reaction” to the proposal for the creation of time-restricted blue badge parking bays.

A spokesperson said: “The policy of the Government continues sadly to be distorted by politicians who display little knowledge of the facts. There was a long statement published on Monday which explained the situation in some detail. The Opposition have given the impression that they have not read the statement, that they have not understood it or quite simply that they do not care.

“The plain fact is that the pilot project which has been announced is the direct result of feedback received from blue badge parking permit holders themselves as part of the STTPP consultation process who argued that parking in certain bays was being abused. The complaints received by the Government indicated that some users were parking in these bays for hours or even days and not allowing other blue badge holders the opportunity to park.

“This is why this initiative was carried out in close consultation with the Ministry for Equality and with the Gibraltar Disability Society, and it became a recommendation of the STTPP.

“There are 167 blue bays in Gibraltar. The Government is creating four additional new ones which will bring the total to 171. The time restriction of three hours will apply only to 14 of the 171 parking bays and it does so as a pilot project in order to test the impact of the policy and assess the feedback. A booklet setting out the rules applying to the scheme and their own parking clock will be supplied to blue badge holders free of charge.

“Government is always happy for - and the STTPP constantly reminds - members of the public and other interested parties to engage with the Ministry for Infrastructure & Planning directly and in this particular case the Ministry for Equality as well.

“Feedback is an essential part of the STTPP and many persons, groups, associations and committees often meet to share information and ideas and listen to proposals. However, what is deeply regrettable is that the Opposition should spread misinformation and play politics with this important issue.”