News & Features

Dramatic decline in Blue Badge enforcement

Posted in General News on Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

The latest Blue Badge statistics released from the Department for Transport (DfT) show a 49% decrease in prosecutions for fraud and misuse of the scheme. Only 698 prosecutions took place between 1st April 2020 and 31st March 2021, compared with the previous year’s figure of 1,429 prosecutions.

The number of Blue Badge holders has also decreased by 3.8% with a total of 2.35million Blue Badge holders in England on 31st March 2021, that is 92,000 fewer Blue Badge holders. Between 1 April 2020 and 31st March 2021 only 824,000 Blue Badges were issued by local authorities, this is 142,000 fewer than the previous year and a fall of 14.7%.

The fall in prosecutions and general numbers of Blue Badges has been partially attributed to repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic. The DfT stated: “The drop in prosecuted badges may relate to the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on citizen behaviour, local authority enforcement practices, and availability of resources.”

Blue Badge enforcement

Disabled Motoring UK continues to be disappointed in the attitude of most local authorities toward misuse of the Blue Badge Scheme. The percentage of local authorities that do have a ‘yes’ policy to enforcing the Blue Badge scheme through prosecution has risen this year from 69% to 74% of local authorities. On the surface this statistic seems positive, but of the local authorities that have a ‘yes’ policy only 44% of them actually pursued any prosecutions on offenders. This is alarming and we firmly believe that there is no point having this policy if a local authority is not willing to act in accordance with it.

Of the 698 prosecution that did take place in 2020/21, 454 (65%)of them took place in London. Drilling down further 119 were in one particular borough, Lambeth. That equates to 17% of all prosecutions taking place in one borough of London. This means that if you live outside London you are very unlikely to see any enforcement of the Blue Badge scheme.

We would like to congratulate those few local authorites that are prosecuting misuse of Blue Badges and give them further thanks in doing so during the turbulent times of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Heidi Turner, Communications and Campaigns Director, said: “We appreciate that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused problems with prosecuting misuse of the Blue Badge scheme. However the already low prosecution figures have fallen of a cliff edge in this most recent set of statistics released by DfT. We hope that next year the numbers will have risen again and that local authorities will make a renewed commitment to policing the scheme so it remains fit for purpose. We are pleased to see that more local authorities are adopting a policy to enforce the scheme through prosecuting abusers, but if they are going to adopt such policies they need to be acted upon. The charity is tired of these ‘on-paper only’ policies that are just lip service in supporting their disabled residents and visitors.”

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Mick Guy's Gravatar
Mick Guy

Tuesday, February, 1st, 2022

In Leicestershire, where I live, the local authority will mark a disabled parking space outside of your property for a fee. There is criteria for having the bay, one being not having off-road parking or garage. My former neighbours had both, plus a disabled bay. Whilst having my bay marked out I asked my neighbour how come they had managed to get theirs, considering they didn't meet the requirements, and as I found out, they didn't even have a valid blue badge. Their answer was the council never check. !!!!!!!! Rules, what's the point?

Keith Balneaves 's Gravatar
Keith Balneaves

Tuesday, February, 1st, 2022

I find that there’s a big problem in sports Centers with people parking in Disabled bays l report it to the staff who are not interested whereupon they should be taking the Reg number and reporting them to the police

Alan King's Gravatar
Alan King

Wednesday, January, 26th, 2022

Not dramatic surely? the pandemic would have had an impact on these figures between the two dates

Simon Sheridan's Gravatar
Simon Sheridan

Tuesday, February, 1st, 2022

It’s the culture we are living in. It was bad enough before covid. But now it’s ridiculous. There’s no law enforcement for many things. I see the rise in drivers coming from abroad. Bringing the madness with them. Parking on zebra crossing on pavements across driveways. I use a stroller to walk a minimum amount of steps. I’m unable to use pavements. Or should I say the footpath !!! I challenged someone for parking in a blue badge bay with out a badge. I was told to … you can imagine. People need to stop parking on the footpath

PETER MACHIN's Gravatar
PETER MACHIN

Tuesday, February, 1st, 2022

Blue badge miss use is rife and so is the miss use of disabled parking spaces. No one is bothered.

sue holland-leavens's Gravatar
sue holland-leavens

Wednesday, February, 2nd, 2022

last week i got load of abuse from just saying sorry you seem to have forgotten your blue badge the space is the closest to the cash point, it people that misuse the badge, fake them or don't bother an just park in blue badge bays if the powers that be aren't bothered what hope do we have ? also a bugbear of mine on- street disable parking bays most in my county allow blue badge holders to park between the hours of 8am till 6pm I sometimes want to go out outside of those hours when i complained to council was told that there was lots of on street parking that not far from said bay grrrrrrr

Anne's Gravatar
Anne

Tuesday, February, 1st, 2022

Whilst I agree Covid will have affected the figures, my own local authority do absolutely nothing. I can rarely park outside my local shop because there are work vans in the spaces. I have complained to the council to be told, ‘not our problem, call the police’. As police don’t bother making people wear masks we have no chance of this changing. I have taken verbal abuse by asking people to move so I can park, the system is failing and we are the ones suffering, on a good day I don’t mind, I will walk but I live in Scotland so it tends to be cold.

andrew hudson's Gravatar
andrew hudson

Tuesday, February, 1st, 2022

it is not only local authorities that are doing nothing about badge misuse, many superstores have disabled bays and warning signs but we have had to stop using our local store as we can rarely use the bays because of misuse,i have tried complaining about this problem on a number of occassions but nothing has been done at all i can only think profit outranks disability problems and all i can say is that every little doesn't always help

Andy Scott's Gravatar
Andy Scott

Tuesday, February, 1st, 2022

Sadly, the most common locations for flagrant abuse of disabled / accessible parking bays is on private land. It’s far more common to see a trade van or someone “just popping in to…” taking up a Blue Badge Only space at a supermarket or retail park than in a town or city centre. It seems strange though that the operators wouldn’t “police” these bays more closely when the advertised fines are £70 plus.

Rosalynne Hawkes's Gravatar
Rosalynne Hawkes

Tuesday, February, 1st, 2022

It is about time enforcement was used. I feel even the supermarkets should start to fine those who illegally use disabled bays, I feel they think they feel we do not spend as much as others and therefore do not bother to protect us. If cannot access a disabled bay I go to another supermarket as I cannot exit my car without the space!

Surfmonkey's Gravatar
Surfmonkey

Tuesday, February, 1st, 2022

Name and shame?

Edmund Hobby's Gravatar
Edmund Hobby

Wednesday, February, 2nd, 2022

I had problems with people parking obstructing my entrance. Parish Council useless so I approached my County Council asking for advice. I now have a white 'H' line depicting my dropped kerb. We are both Blue Badge holders. It cost nothing although I was told it ha dno legal standing, however in the main I have noticed motorists do avoid parking on these lines. I usually wait in the car while my Wife slightly more active does the weekly shop. Yes it is legal as we BOTH have a Blue Badge. BOTH are always displayed. I am vexed at the number of people who park in a disabled bay and let an able bodieds person take advantage while the Blue Bade Holder sits in the car. Then there the obvious user of grannies badge!!!!! Problem is as much as I want to approach them and point out their selfishness and the fact it states in the book received with each and every Blue Badge, NOT to do it I am somewhat averse to a punch on the nose.

Simon Sheridan's Gravatar
Simon Sheridan

Wednesday, February, 2nd, 2022

It’s the culture we are living in. It was bad enough before covid. But now it’s ridiculous. There’s no law enforcement for many things. I see the rise in drivers coming from abroad. Bringing the madness with them. Parking on zebra crossing on pavements across driveways. I use a stroller to walk a minimum amount of steps. I’m unable to use pavements. Or should I say the footpath !!! I challenged someone for parking in a blue badge bay with out a badge. I was told to … you can imagine. People need to stop parking on the footpath

Mr Michael J Balkwill's Gravatar
Mr Michael J Balkwill

Wednesday, February, 2nd, 2022

Since moving from Norfolk to Scotland, my disabled sister stopped renewing her Blue Badge, as she found no need for it. Parking is free in most places and, when visiting the hospitals, their disabled bays are generally full of non badge holders I live in Surrey, and found the biggest bonus of parking in a disabled bay was the extra space when handling a rollator, sticks, or wheelchair. Disabled bays are usually located near entrances, but often occupied by non badge holders. Not being able to park nearby can cause a longer more painful walk to the entrance It's outrageous that hospitals can charge Blue Badge holders. Apart from the cost to disabled, who often find themselves on reduced incomes, you're expected to be a gymnast to get all round the car park finding a machine that works, or join the queues to pay. A while ago a delivery van, instead of parking in the designated delivery area, parked in the only disabled bay. I parked immediately behind him, in the delivery bay, and displayed my Blue Badge while I went to the chemist for a prescription. When I came back I'd been issued with a parking ticket, but not the delivery driver. I complained to the council, and it was reversed.

Aaisha Osman's Gravatar
Aaisha Osman

Tuesday, April, 5th, 2022

I concur with comments about Leicestershire complacency in the overall disabled parking scheme. The disabled spaces are the first to be compromised when it comes to replanning infrastructure (road re-assignment, pedestrianisation, roadworks, etc.) I've know people without disabilities or mobility problems getting badges simply because they are health professionals; individuals who can persuade GPs to request a badge even though the individual has no health / mobility issues. Hospitals take over disabled bays to place if they have pop-up portacabins as part of their temporary operations. This has a huge impact on disabled people being able to just attend appointments. If you put a search online for disabled parking provision for city centre, (5/4/2022), you will not get any updated information. I had to attend an optician in town, and they have replanned the roads during covid. Couldn't access the location because they have made so many streets one-way, pedestrianised streets, and restricted streets for buses, taxis and cyclists only.

Aaisha Osman's Gravatar
Aaisha Osman

Thursday, April, 7th, 2022

I concur with comments about Leicestershire complacency in the overall disabled parking scheme. The disabled spaces are the first to be compromised when it comes to replanning infrastructure (road re-assignment, pedestrianisation, roadworks, etc.) I've know people without disabilities or mobility problems getting badges simply because they are health professionals; individuals who can persuade GPs to request a badge even though the individual has no health / mobility issues. Hospitals take over disabled bays to place if they have pop-up portacabins as part of their temporary operations. This has a huge impact on disabled people being able to just attend appointments. If you put a search online for disabled parking provision for city centre, (5/4/2022), you will not get any updated information. I had to attend an optician in town, and they have replanned the roads during covid. Couldn't access the location because they have made so many streets one-way, pedestrianised streets, and restricted streets for buses, taxis and cyclists only.