Blue Badge Enforcement - News Flashes from the UK

As read in the May newsletter of the Blue Badge Improvement Service

- United Kingdom

Blue Badge forgery

Portsmouth City Council had their first BBIS Blue Badge copy infringement by a Blue Badge holder, wishing to use it for their second vehicle. A sharp eyed civil enforcement officer who discovered the forgery was suspicious of the badge as the noticed anomalies in the hologram. Investigations are currently on-going concerning the production, and resulting infringement whilst displaying the forgery.

Nine may face fines for Blue Badge abuse

Hounslow Council and the police joined forces last month in a crackdown on Blue Badge abuse as part of their drive to protect parking spaces for disabled people. During the operation, officers from the council's parking anti-fraud team and the police confiscated nine blue badges because the registered holder was not present with the driver.

In each case, a penalty charge notice was issued and the driver has been asked to attend an interview under caution in order to explain their actions.

Motorist forged blue badge after being refused due to improved health

A motorist who was refused a new disabled parking badge after his health improved was caught using a forged permit, a court heard.

Mr X altered the date on his expired badge so it looked valid for an extra three years, magistrates heard. He then parked a friend's car for free on Bloom Street in Manchester city centre last September.

Wardens spotted Mr X getting into a car in a pay and display bay. A blue badge was displayed on the dashboard with an expiry date of December 31, 2014. But officers cross-checked the permit's serial number with their database, which revealed it had actually expired on December 31, 2011. When questioned, Mr X admitted to altering the date.

Four blue badges seized and 35 penalty notices issued in Plymouth in two-hour sweep

Police seized four blue badges and handed out 35 penalty notices in a two-hour operation in Plymouth.

Among those caught was a man using his dead mother’s badge to park in a disabled space. Police and council enforcement officers had the support of backroom staff from the council's BlueBadge fraud team in the ‘Operation Dashboard'.

Cheats caught out following Blue Badge blitz

A campaign to crack down on Blue Badge misuse is being stepped up in Derbyshire. The County Council’s campaign was launched last year with the warning that people found using a Blue Badge when they shouldn't be could be fined up to £1,000.

In a recent blitz parking enforcement officers checked almost 300 Blue Badges and made phone calls to badge holders at home to check whether or not they were out with their badge. Seven parking tickets were issued to people found to be misusing Blue Badges and letters sent to the Blue Badge holders about the misuse.

Plans to charge Blue Badge holders to park approved

Plans to make disabled motorists pay to park in the New Forest were given the go-ahead. Civic chiefs agreed to scrap the free parking enjoyed by 10,000 Blue Badge holders - despite being accused of persecuting the vulnerable.

Disabled groups threatened to challenge the necessary traffic regulation orders. But the scheme was given the nod at a council meeting.

It should however be noted that this was an off- street car park. Badge holders cannot be charged for on-street parking.

Hospital bosses claim Blue Badge parking charges have increased availability

Health bosses have defended parking charges to Blue Badge holders at a Lichfield hospital - insisting they have ensured more availability of spaces.

The start of April saw the changes introduced at Samuel Johnson Community Hospital in the city. And although chiefs at Burton Hospitals say they recognize some of the criticism of the charges, they say it has increased the availability of spaces for disabled drivers and passengers.

The hospital say there has been a “smooth introduction” of the new charges, with car parking attendants outlining the changes to drivers. Blue Badge holders are now also charged to park at Queen’s Hospital in Burton and Robert Peel Hospital in Tamworth.

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