U.K. – A woman with multiple sclerosis has criticised an “extortionate” £3,800 charge to create a disabled parking bay outside her home.

Cornwall Council charges applicants for a disabled bay thousands of pounds but elsewhere people pay nothing.

Councillor Richard Pears said the authority is “effectively charging people for being disabled” and the cost should be subsidised.

The matter will be discussed at a full council meeting on Tuesday.

In comparison, Medway Council in Kent charges £40 (if successful), while Leicestershire County Council charges £100 .

Cornwall Council said the £3,800 cost is for a Traffic Regulation Order, advertising, public consultation and painting the new bay.

However, once installed the space does not guarantee parking for an individual as it is available for any disabled person to use.

Deb Race, from St Austell in Cornwall, decided against paying for a disabled bay.

“Just carrying anything up the road from the car is really difficult and each step is painful.”

“To find nearly £4,000 and then have a lottery still as to whether I could park outside my house was totally prohibitive. It didn’t seem fair.”

Disabled parking bays can be advisory – where no action can be taken if another person parks there – or mandatory – where action can be taken against anyone parking there without a blue badge.

Conservative councillor Mr Pears said: “It’s completely extortionate.

“We’re charging £3,800 down in Cornwall, one of the most deprived areas of the country. It’s completely unfair.”