The organisers of the Royal Welsh Show have defended a decision to charge disabled visitors to park at the showground.
Disabled motorists have always had free access to a specially designated parking area next to the Llanelwedd site but the car park was often underused.
The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s decision to convert this site into a paid parking zone for all motorists will mean that disabled people will have to pay – although at a reduced rate.
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Visitors who want to park next to the showground will be charged £20/day while disabled users, issued with a pre-show parking pass, will pay £5. It is understood that 800 people have so far paid for disabled passes.
The costs associated with free parking across all six satellite car parks, which include stewarding and shuttle buses, cost the Society £419,000 last year. It said satellite car parks would continue to be free with a shuttle bus service in place to transport people to and from the showground.
A spokesperson said each of the satellite car parks had a forward parking area for disabled visitors.
The society said the disabled parking site had been underutilised in previous year. Blue Badge holders have been given until the beginning of June to apply for a parking pass. After that, spaces will be offered to others.
“The daily fee is £20, however in recognition of the need to support members of the disabled community we have offered a 75% discount and a charge of £5/day. In addition, we offer a mini bus service from this car park into the showground equipped to deal with visitors with disability,” said the society’s spokesperson.