Hike in disabled charges for West Wittering beach

West Wittering beach
West Wittering beach

A SHADOW could be cast over summer for disabled visitors to a popular beach.

A decision to charge disabled motorists full price for parking at West Wittering beach was criticised by some users who labelled the plan ‘greedy’.

However, the change, made by West Wittering Estate, split opinion on our Facebook page with other readers claiming it was only fair disabled drivers pay the same as everyone else.

Commenting on our page, Nick Brown, said: “Why shouldn’t they pay full price, like rest of us. They get benefits and stuff to compensate for the disability anyway.”

Terry Farrell said: “Being disabled doesn’t mean you’re poor. They already have the best parking spaces reserved for their use (understandably), but why for free? They should pay more for the better parking facilities.”

And Brigitte Jones, 54, said: “Some of us want to be treated same as everybody else so I would gladly pay.”

However, Alun Lee said: “Outrageous, these people are just plain greedy. I for one don’t bother going there anymore.”

Amanda Southall felt all parking charges should be reviewed, writing: “Parking at West Wittering for all users is horrendous and over charged.”

Peter Lincoln felt a compromise could be reached: “I think parking discounts for disabled people should be means tested as disability doesn’t always mean a restricted income.

“This would protect the worst off disabled people from being charged. Perhaps there could be a blue badge and a green one for people with restricted mobility?”

The increase in fees – to £8 at the weekend – came into force in April but it was only as the recent heatwave hit that its effect was felt.

Clive Rivers, 71, of Bracklesham Bay, was surprised to find the charges had gone up.

“I had not read anywhere that the charges had gone up so it was a shock,” he said.

“The disabled spaces are also quite far away from the main facilities at the beach.”

Season tickets for disabled motorists remain at a lower price – £33 instead of £105.

West Wittering Estate did not respond with a comment before the Observer went to press. Join the debate by visiting www.facebook.com/chichesterobserver.