ROAD bosses have apologised after being accused of ‘indirect discrimination’ over their failure to provide a disabled parking space for a wheelchair user.

Chris Howard, 51, first applied to get a designated space outside his home in Courtauld Close, Halstead, when he moved into the property in June, 2018.

Having successfully completed the lengthy application process, Mr Howard was told by Essex Highways that a disabled space would be installed on October 22 this year.

But more than a month has passed without any sign of work taking place and Mr Howard has now launched a scathing attack on Highways bosses over the delay.

He said: “The length of time it is taking for me to get this is so unfair.

“If an able-bodied person had a similar request for a highways issue it would be so much simpler and quicker.

“I have done everything asked of me but they still haven’t done it. It just seems like indirect discrimination because Essex County Council knows it has an obligation to fulfil its duties when it comes to helping people with disabilities.

“But it seems to be taking as long as it is allowed to do something like this.

“All it needs to do is mark out a space. They’ve put the signs up ready for it but there are still no markings.

“There is no justification for the delay so why is it taking them so long?”

Mr Howard, who uses a wheelchair because of a neurological condition, says he has now lodged a complaint but is still waiting to hear back on the matter.

He originally applied to install a driveway outside his house but was forced to accept a disabled space on the road because of the size of his car.

He added: “I need the space to be outside my house because I have to transfer myself from my wheelchair into my car which can be tricky at the best of times.

“If someone is parked outside my house, it means I have to park somewhere further down the road. There’s only one dropped kerb around so it can take a long time for me to go between my car and house if I’m parked away.

“Having the space would make life a lot easier.”

Essex County Council this week apologised for the delay.

An Essex Highways spokesman said: “We have completed the first stage of this work, which was putting up a new sign.

“The markings for the bay will follow shortly and we heartily apologise for the delay.

“We will now prioritise this work so that Mr Howard suffers no continuing problems.”