A TOWN councillor has called for the High Street’s temporary pedestrianisation to be “removed completely” as it is “discrimination” against blue badge holders.

Despite this, it was heard during the Shaftesbury Town Council meeting Tuesday night that majority of councillors supported the measures remaining in place throughout the second national lockdown, starting today.

Councillors also approved the continuation of the town’s market on Thursdays.

While backing plans for the market, Cllr Karen Tippins called for the pedestrianisation project to end, adding it is “discrimination” against blue badge holders and “absolutely awful” when buses travel through the area.

She said: “[It needs to be] removed completely. I get so many complaints from blue badge drivers, I really do think that the pedestrianisation is against the Equality Act.”

Describing the scheme as “a mess”, she added: “The sooner it is reverted back to where it was in June the better.

“There should be no town council stopping the disabled from being independent and that’s what we have done and it’s awful, so it needs to be removed.”

In response Cllr Piers Brown said there were six additional parking spaces in the High Street area to accommodate for blue badge holders, and the zone restrictions end at 4pm to enable evening trade.

He added that there wouldn't be as many pedestrianised zones enforced if they performed against the Equality Act.

Cllr Brown said: “We have to remember why we are doing this. We are doing this because we are all required to social distance, and we’re not social distancing for people like me, we’re doing it for the most vulnerable in society who may get this horrible disease that we’re having to learn to live with and the question I would ask, is if we were to not do anything what does that mean.

"Could you live with that decision if somebody was to catch Covid-19 on our High Street because we refused to do something.”

It was also recommended by majority of councillors that marshal provision should remain the same along the High Street during the lockdown period.

Earlier in the meeting Cllr Brown said the pedestrianised zone had been “a success” but there had been an increase in motorists flouting the car-free order. He added Dorset Police had been made aware of the situation.

Heard during the meeting, it was approved to allocate further funds to the pedestrianisation project to support its extension, up to a maximum of £5,500.

Councillors’ support of the scheme’s continuation will now be taken to Dorset Council for a firm decision to be made.