News & Features

Slow Progress for Blue Badge Enforcement

Posted in General News on Thursday, January 21st, 2021

One of DMUK’s most crucial campaigns is encouraging local authorities to make sure that the Blue Badge scheme is properly administered and enforced. The national Blue Badge statistics for 2020 released on 20th January 2021 reveal that many local authorities are still not doing enough to uphold the integrity of the Blue Badge scheme.

On 31st March 2020 there were 2.44 million Blue Badges held in England. This is an increase of 6.5% since March 2019. This increase was expected following the extension of the Blue Badge eligibility criteria which came into effect in August 2019. Local authorities issued 996,000 badges in 2019/20 and 26,000 of these were issued to individuals with non-visible disabilities under the new eligibility criteria. DMUK is pleased to see that Blue Badges are being issued to people with non-visible disabilities who need them. That said, we are well aware that this puts more pressure on a scheme that is already poorly enforced and makes effective enforcement more important than ever.

General Blue Badge Enforcement

Included in the Blue Badge statistics is the number of prosecutions for misuse of the Blue Badge scheme. The statistics look at local authorities in England in the period year ending 31st March 2020. The statistics show that 1,429 prosecutions took place during this period compared to 1,432 the previous year. Similar to last year, 98% of these prosecutions were the result of a non-Blue Badge holder using somebody else’s Blue Badge.

A Closer Inspection

Despite the slight decrease in prosecutions, the number of local authorities which have a ‘yes’ policy when it comes to prosecuting Blue Badge misuse has risen from 66% to 69%. However, we remain disappointed by the level of enforcement because only 62% of the local authorities which say they prosecute Blue Badge misuse actually prosecuted somebody. The remaining 38% did not have any prosecutions.  This means that only two-thirds of the authorities that have a ‘yes’ to prosecution policy actually use it to enforce the scheme. What is the point of having a prosecution policy in place if it is not going to be used? While the prosecution figures for each individual authority have become slightly more widespread, the majority of prosecutions (53%) were recorded in London. Therefore, if you live outside the capital it is unlikely that you will see much enforcement in your local area.

DMUK would like to recognise local authorities that are enforcing the scheme correctly and congratulate them on supporting disabled motorists to live independent lives.

DMUK CEO, Graham Footer commented: “Enforcement of the Blue Badge scheme continues to improve. However, progress remains disappointingly slow. Enforcement is more crucial than ever considering the rise in the number of people who are entitled to hold a Blue Badge. DMUK wants to see all local authorities enforcing the scheme effectively. If a local authority has a prosecution policy, it is crucial that it is used to prosecute those abusing the scheme when necessary.  It is not good enough to have a policy that lays dormant and no action taken. We would like to see the government put more pressure on local authorities to make sure the integrity of the scheme is upheld.”     

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Sarah Bunting's Gravatar
Sarah Bunting

Friday, February, 5th, 2021

I get so mad. I a in a wheelchair and need a disabled bay as my van is wider than the normal bays. I can't get a disabled bay anymore as there are not enough around. it feels like everyone in this area had a blue badge. . here you can get one if you are over 70 yrs old and not disabled.. the whole reason these badges were brought out were for those who could not walk more than a few feet without aids of some sort bring back the old rules

Jo's Gravatar

Monday, February, 8th, 2021

I moved to my new area a few years ago and I find it very difficult to get parked in a disabled bay as people who don’t need it park in them, I use a wheelchair. I used to go to the coop store who has a disabled bay outside plus other parking but I could never get parked as there was always a none blue badge user in it, I wrote to the local council about this and was told they couldn’t do anything about it as it was down to the discression of the normal driver, so no hope if even the council don’t care.

D.Frame-Stark's Gravatar

Monday, February, 8th, 2021

Enforcement of parking regulations concerning disabled drivers is very lax with cars full of non-disabled people parking in disabled bays and “thumbing their nose”if challenged by a badge holder or even by a parking official.


Friday, February, 5th, 2021

The article here may be true in England but my experience in Wales is very different - in 50 years of driving prior to qualifying for a blue badge, I had never received a parking ticket - for the simple reason that I never parked illegally. Since having a blue badge I have had about six tickets (with badge displayed) issued by parking cowboys who work on the scatter principle : stick enough on windscreens and a fair proportion will be intimidated into paying just to get them off their backs. I have to say that to date I have never paid one because I knew I was innocent of this 'crime' - I have even had two in hospital car parks -I find that writing or emailing the CEO of the outfit usually gets it cancelled. In May 2017 I had a ticket outside Poundland - 4pm on a Sunday, empty car park shops closing, badge on the windscreen, challenged the operative and he said 'oh I didn't see it, you'll have to appeal' ....which I did and eventually all correspondence ceased - until this week, after 4 years and I got a demand from DCBL for £160. A similar situation outside Home bargains in 2018 when on a windy day my badge had slid into the footwell - the operative actually apologised then but once the ticket is written they can't do anything. Similar correspondence and again this week a demand from DRP for £160 . Neither of these are valid and if necessary I will go to court. From a forum discussing these matters it seems some of these firms are facing bankruptcy and are raking through their archives digging up old 'debts' to pursue who they think are vulnerable people. I resent people without a badge parking in disabled spaces but actually having a badge doesn't exclude you from persecution.

Amanda James's Gravatar
Amanda James

Friday, February, 5th, 2021

Although only a small thing. Why isn't the photo of the disabled person on the side facing upwards ?This may deter unofficial use of it, I don't see any problem regarding privacy etc.either! If it would stop misuse/fraudulent use then most people would favour this. Thanks

Angela Williams's Gravatar
Angela Williams

Friday, February, 5th, 2021

To many people use other people's badges illegally especially places like theme parks alton towers is nightmare for disabled people they don't check badges either even supermarkets not checking just miss use all time needs massive clamp down

Kenneth Thompson's Gravatar
Kenneth Thompson

Friday, February, 5th, 2021

Any" cheapening" of the badge discredits both the badge and it,s rightful owner . There are lots of penalties possible . Let us hope there is little need for enforcement .

John's Gravatar

Friday, February, 5th, 2021

Hi the blue badge is getting miss used everywhere, I think that only people who are in a wheelchair should be the only ones to use the blue badge and people who have disablement that are hides Thayer should have a different colour badge ,because in a wheelchair you really need the space to park and get your wheelchair out ,if there are no spaces you can not get out ,also you can not get your wheelchair out and put it together, unless you can park by pavement and then you run the risk of been knocked down on to the floor by people who are rushing,and not looking where they are going With other disabilities can use a wider space to park that should be marker different, person with walking sticks or something like that

Gordon French's Gravatar
Gordon French

Friday, February, 5th, 2021

I must agree with you but with the government cut backs local authorities have to promise resources Eg Road safety via blue badges. The area which can oversea this is the parking enforcement teams they need to be trained and equipped. And like parking enforcement it would pay for itself Supermarkets have taken the easy approach and contracted out It needs to become socially unacceptable . But if the community cannot social distance we have no chance

Roy Doudin's Gravatar
Roy Doudin

Friday, February, 5th, 2021

Hi all, The action or rather the non action of the majority of councils is of no surprise considering all the calls on their resources particularly during the pandemic. The supermarkets on the other hand could very easily police the disabled and young children spaces on their premises I have myself tentatively and politely asked the question of people whom pull into a disabled space and run with a trolley to get their shopping with a verbal reaction on most occasions I cannot print. I do feel very sad," is it me?" or is the world going to hell in a handcart.

D.Frame-Stark's Gravatar

Friday, February, 5th, 2021

Enforcement of parking regulations concerning disabled drivers is very lax with cars full of healthy people parking in disabled bays and “thumbing their nose”if challenged by a badge holder or even by a parking official.

Gareth Miller 's Gravatar
Gareth Miller

Friday, February, 5th, 2021

Clackmannanshire does not have any traffic wardens. So people park wherever they like, so getting a disabled parking space is a joke. The police also don't enforce parking rules in this area.

David Nixon 's Gravatar
David Nixon

Friday, February, 5th, 2021

In the town I live in I'm only aware of 2 occasions were people were given a ticket for parking illegally in a disabled parking space, it's ridiculous.

andrew hudson's Gravatar
andrew hudson

Friday, February, 5th, 2021

my wife and i are both very disabled and have a blue badge each.we have found that in the margate area where we live the worst offenders for doing absolutely nothing are the big supermarkets,many a time we have found over half the disabled bays being abused,you dare not say anything as you often get threatend or verbally abused with the most awful language.we have complained a number of times and nothing ever gets done

Daniel Walsh's Gravatar
Daniel Walsh

Friday, February, 5th, 2021

Punish those people without Blue Badges. parking. In disabled parking areas.

Helen 's Gravatar

Saturday, February, 6th, 2021

Not surprised in the slightest. Many of my disabled friends, like myself, have given up trying to explain to people who use blue badge spaces without a blue badge that it is less than helpful when people undermine the schemes intention to enable independence. Many have been verbally abused and even threatened with physical violence for trying to assert their rights to parking, it is akin to peeing into the wind.

Jacqueline Brown's Gravatar
Jacqueline Brown

Saturday, February, 6th, 2021

I agree and wholeheartedly support enforcement of Blue Badge regulations. I often see misuse of the blue badges ie the holder parking in disabled bays and not exiting their vehicles, the blue badge being used by a non holder, to say about two items. I certainly support all you do to get this enforcement going forward.

H.J.Powell's Gravatar

Saturday, February, 6th, 2021

What about the privately run carparks, such as Tesco, Asda and Sainburys and other supermarkets. Do they prosecute those who park in the bays.

Sandra mutton's Gravatar
Sandra mutton

Sunday, February, 7th, 2021

More import is to enforce vehicles without blue badges parking in disabled spaces.

Neil Munro's Gravatar
Neil Munro

Sunday, February, 7th, 2021

Not surprising, Enforcement officers and originally the traffic wardens have told me many times reluctant to ticket any Foreign plated car for any road enforcement issue and reluctant to ask people to id themselves, by showing picture side of badge. As an retired police officer UK councils/enforcement have always been reluctant to deal with infringements as it would cost money to enforce matter in Europe. Try parking in wrong place Fin Europe, car impounded till you pay! In Leeds Disabled bays are disappearing fast! As it becomes more pedestrian friendly, with no care as to the need for disabled car parking for the disabled person top visit shops..


Sunday, February, 7th, 2021

I entirely agree with this article. I have been quite surprised at the ignorance of the blue badge holder who seems never to have read the blue book of regulations. The most common one is that grandparents hand their badges over to their children and teenage grandchildren who, when challenged, give the excuse they are "shopping for the badge holder" Others remain seated in the car while their passengers go off to do what they want. It really is a minefield. I have akways been under rhe impression that these badges are awarded because of poor mobility but this does n ot seem the case at present. I look at someone jumping out of their vehicle and run like the wind and wished I could do the same. The lines between what constitutes poor mobility because of underlying medical conditions and other vague conditions is becoming increasingly blurred and the line has to be drawn somewhere as I foresee th time when for exa ple, clinically obese people will be automarically entitled and we all k now it is a struggle with mobility when you are overweight. I would be interested to see what the DDUK can do to get this problem sorted before the majority of the population possess blue badges

Mrs W-Smith's Gravatar
Mrs W-Smith

Sunday, February, 7th, 2021

Supermarkets encourage parents with children to park in Disabled bays. Workmen with vans park in them as well. COVID 19 Many Disabled spaces have metal barriers in bays to direct people when there is other areas to use. Disabled people ignored. It's very dangerous to get wheelchair or scooter out with a hoist when cars drive so close when disable bays blocked. Relatives use Blue badges without disable person in car. Disabled people are treated very badly please HELP

Mark Thompson's Gravatar
Mark Thompson

Tuesday, February, 23rd, 2021

We have a disabled parking bay (non-mandatory) outside our house, and occasionally other drivers use it for parking their cars if we’re out - obviously a clear nuisance when we return. Wandsworth Council seems reluctant to act because it’s a non-mandatory bay, which leaves us unprotected and vulnerable to abuse.

Kevin Hallsworth's Gravatar
Kevin Hallsworth

Tuesday, February, 16th, 2021

Sarah Bunting is absolutely right. Anybody at all can now park in a Blue badge spot and go off shopping downtown without a care in the world. They know very well that the new rules make it easier than ever for them to use disabled spots.

David J Wilcox's Gravatar
David J Wilcox

Wednesday, February, 17th, 2021

So please why cant we who are disabled with blue badges display our badges photo side up to help stop blue badge misuse,I am sick of seeing disabled parking bays being used by non blue badge holders where parking using phones & 4 by 4s & white vans using bays cause they cant park in normal parking spaces,must say within part of essex covered by epping forest district council have seen just one parking warden checking blue badges & spoke to him & told me he finds that drivers use photo copy blue badges & found many with time clock covering badge dates ! so if one warden checks why cant the rest do the same,our local Tesco started checking blue badge bays with one member of staff viewing dashboards for blue badges & one other member of staff taking photo & writing out a fine notice, but Tesco have a parking signs showing a private parking company,so I did ask a member of Tesco staff & was told the signs are just for show!