The story seems to suggest that the main reason for the ban is because of safety concerns, and this seems to be how the disability group see it: "Skaters can really cause damage. They really put off partially-sighted people, and people in wheelchairs from coming to the town centre. There are places for skateboarders to go and that's where they should be. I would really like the same rule to be introduced for cyclists. They are just as big a problem."
However, sources at the council have confirmed to Darlington Cycling Campaign that the only reason for the ban is the fear of damage being caused to steps and stonework which, obviously, responsible cycling would not cause. Also, as cycling is a form of transportation whilst skateboarding is purely recreational, there is a significant difference between the two.