Wed, Dec 12, 2018 7:38 PM
British motorists are paying the penalty for parking in disabled bays to the tune of £4.2m a year according to a new report looking at blue badge and disabled parking issues.
Councils in the UK issued a total of 97,138 Penalty Charge Notices to vehicles incorrectly parked in Blue Bays in 2017, and a further 11,100 tickets were handed out to motorists parked in front of dropped kerbs showing a total disregard for wheelchair users.
The report by Confused.com has highlighted a concern that while there are 1.2m Blue Badge holders in the UK, there are only 42,000 council registered spaces, a problem which is made worse when able-bodied motorists show flagrant disregard for the laws.
Confused.com’s report says: “It’s no wonder more than half (53 per cent) of Blue Badge holders are calling for more designated disabled parking spaces to be made available, according to further research.
“And with government plans to open up the Blue Badge scheme to include invisible disabilities [such as autism and mental health conditions] in 2019, there will certainly be a shortage of spaces for disabled motorists or passengers, even if people did stop abusing them unnecessarily.”
The data came following a Freedom of Information request to local council’s but Confused.com’s own research shows that of 2,000 drivers surveyed, eight per cent admitted to illegally parking in disabled bays, with more than a third (35%) of those who confessed saying they did so as they were ‘only going to be quick. More than a quarter (27%) said that they broke the law as there were plenty of other disabled bays available in the area.
It appears that a fine is not the only punishment offenders receive, with one in five (19%) saying they had been confronted by other motorists for not having a Blue Badge but ignoring the law.