Disabled fee shock

Blue Badge holders will not be exempt from the parking charges introduced in Dalkeith.

Dalkeith resident Raymond Wise told the Advertiser: “Taking money off disabled people for parking is ridiculous.”

Mr Wise and his daughter Joan (32) drove into the town centre on Saturday to view the Harley-Davidson motorbike parade.

“We couldn’t get parked in the disabled parking spaces as they were full, so we went round to North Wynd and got a parking space,” explained Mr Wise, a carer for his daughter, who has has Myotonic Dystrophy since birth.

It was there the parking attendant explained that if they parked longer than an hour they would be liable to pay charges.

“I was shocked when he told me. Surely you can’t take money off disabled people?” added Mr Wise, who lives in St Andrew Street.

The prospect of charges curtailed their visit, thus missing part of the parade. “I made sure we were back before the hour. I wasn’t paying – not for a badge holder.”

Midlothian Councillor Wilma Chalmers, cabinet member for commercial services, confirmed the charges at North Wynd also apply to blue badge holders.

She said: “The first hour is free. The charges were brought in as a way of increasing the turnover of spaces for everyone, disabled people included.”

She added that the council had recently increased the number of free spaces for disabled drivers in Dalkeith.