Published: 13:28, 26 July 2019
| Updated: 13:29, 26 July 2019
The cost of season ticket parking permits is to be increased across Kent’s country parks.
But the £2 increase for both standard and Blue Badge holders led to criticism at County Hall.
Councillor Barry Lewis said he was angered about the proposed rise from £3 to £5, which equates to 67%, for disabled users when the standard season ticket increase was 4% from £50 to £52.
The Labour councillor suggested lowering the financial climb to £4, a 33% increase, because it was not fair on disabled users.
One of his colleagues, Cllr Rob Bird, hit back at his colleague and said it was a “perfectly reasonable” increase.
The row came during a public meeting involving the environment and transport cabinet committee at Maidstone County Hall.
Elected members had been asked to agree the annual parking season tickets increase for blue badge and standard season holders, which will be imposed from September 1.
The proposed increase was £2 across the board.
It comes as the number of blue badge season ticket holders has risen from 682 to 1,437 in the last year and the council says it needs to cover some of the cost of ticket administration.
The number of standard ticket users has also risen from 1,212 to 1,532 in the same year.
The majority of councillors approved the increase, which they described as “modest”.
Shome Woods, Lullingstone, Trosley, Brockhill, Teston Bridge, Grove Ferry, White Horse Wood, Pedgwell and Manor Park are among the country parks which will see this change.