Only Blue Badge Holders Are Permitted To Park In Disabled Parking Spaces
According to new research, over 175,000 drivers in the UK were issued with a fine last year for parking in a disabled bay without a Blue Badge.
Only the most vulnerable road users are permitted to use disabled parking spaces, yet research carried out by Uswitch.com, discovered that more than 175,000 fines were handed out to drivers who parked in a disabled bay without having the required permit.
A Freedom of Information request was sent to every council in the UK by the price comparison website company, asking how many PCNs (Penalty Charge Notices) had been issued to drivers in the UK for misusing a disabled parking bay.
The information they got back was shocking, as they discovered the worst area outside of London was Milton Keynes, with 5962 fines issued during a 12 month period. Not far behind was Manchester, with 5799 fines and in third place was Leeds, with 4,753 fines for the misuse of disabled parking spaces.
The worst borough in London was Barking and Dagenham, where the council had handed out 3,714 PCNs. In second place was Lambeth, with 2,963 issues and Barnet in third with 2,907 fines issued for Blue Badge offences.
According to Graham Footer, Chief Executive at Disabled Motoring UK (DMUK), the figures “were the tip of the iceberg”, claiming most cases of disabled parking bay misuse is not reported or unenforced.
“Disabled parking space abuse is rife across the UK and the problem is getting worse. Some disabled drivers are forced to give up on a shopping trip and go home when they are unable to find suitable parking”, added Mr Footer.
Mr Footer is asking for councils to ensure more enforcement is put in place and that any driver who uses disabled parking spaces without having a Blue Badge is punished.
Currently in the UK, a PCN issued to a driver for parking their vehicle in a disabled bay ranges from £70 to £100. Mr Footer believes the fine should be increased to help tackle the issue more successfully.
Mr Footer says, “The only way to tackle this problem is to hurt the offenders in the pocket. The system doesn’t work and something clearly needs to be done about that.”
Research carried out in 2020 by the British Parking Association (BPA), discovered that one in five disabled parking spaces at supermarkets were used by drivers with no disability.
According to Disabled Motoring UK (DMUK), supermarkets in the UK lose £501 million per month due to not being accessible. A staggering 75% of disabled people and their families claim they’ve felt like they had to leave at least once because their needs weren’t being met.
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