Disabled drivers targeted by thugs at Lancashire beauty spot

Yobs have wrecked the barrier to a disabled car park at a popular Lancashire beauty spot.

By Mike Hill
Friday, 5th June 2020, 3:45 pm
Ribble at Edisford, Clitheroe
Ribble at Edisford, Clitheroe

They wrenched the barrier off its hinges at the disabled parking area next to the river at Edisford, near Clitheroe, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Council chiefs have vowed to catch the offenders and prosecute them.

Blue badge users have been able to visit the riverbank safely since last year when Ribble Valley Council invested in secure access to the site operated by a touch-fob.

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Previously, access had been via a gate unlocked with a RADAR key, meaning blue badge motorists had to get out of their car, unlock the gate, drive through, stop, then relock the gate.

Not only did this inconvenience motorists with restricted mobility, but if the gate was left unlocked dozens of unauthorised vehicles were able to access the site.

Now it seems vehicles have started tailgating disabled drivers through the barrier in order to gatecrash the car park.

Stuart Carefoot, chairman of Ribble Valley Council’s community services committee, said: “We wanted to ensure safe use of the riverbank for blue badge motorists and installed a fob-operated automatic barrier.

“Edisford riverbank is extremely popular in good weather, attracting hundreds of visitors, and the new system ensured access to the site was safe for motorists with restricted mobility.

“Sadly, the system is being abused, with unauthorised vehicles tailgating blue badge motorists onto the site.

“In this latest incident, a number of vehicles were unable to leave the car park and the driver of one chose to wrench the barrier off its hinges.

“Not only has this mindless act caused thousands of pounds worth of damage, but the site is no longer secure, which will rob motorists with restricted mobility of safe parking.

“We have received some valuable evidence and will be coming after the culprits for every penny.”

The incident is being investigated by the police and anyone with information is asked to contact Crimestoppers in complete confidence on 0800 555111.