News & Features

Baywatch Month is here - August 2022

Posted in General News on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022

Fill in the Baywatch Survey

Baywatch is here and this month Disabled Motoring UK will be asking you to fill in the Baywatch survey. Every year DMUK runs its Baywatch Campaign which researches opinions about disabled parking abuse. It’s a simple survey which doesn’t take long to fill in and provides the charity with really useful data to take to the parking industry to encourage them to do more to support disabled customers and manage their disabled parking provisions correctly. Last year DMUK received over 850 responses, breaking all records, which goes to show that many of you are still experiencing massive problems when it comes to finding suitable and properly enforced disabled parking.

Still the most common problem for many disabled motorists is not being able to park at their desired destination. The major complaint is that the disabled bays are all occupied with cars not displaying a Blue Badge and most of the questions in the survey reflect this. However, as time moves on DMUK has noticed new parking worries around electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. So this year we have included a question on EV charging bays. (DMUK also has its dedicated EV survey still running and if you have not already done so please take the time to fill it in. More info at https://www.disabledmotoring.org/campaigns/access-to-ev)

When answering the questions please think about your parking experiences over the last 12 months. Have you been able to park easily at the supermarket and elsewhere? Do you think local authorities are doing enough to tackle Blue Badge misuse? These are important questions and if we have some statistical evidence it makes our case stronger when trying to get the parking industry take the management of disabled parking bays seriously.   

We will be running the Baywatch survey for the month of August which you can complete without leaving your home. The online survey which can be accessed through our website www.disabledmotoring.org/baywatch/baywatch-2022

When the survey closes the results are calculated and published. The Baywatch campaign also aims to change public attitudes by bringing to the attention of disabled bay abusers the impact that their actions can have. We will publish the results later in the year.

Heidi Turner, Campaigns and Communications Director at Disabled Motoring UK said: “Disabled bay abuse is still one of the main concerns expressed to us by our members and the public. Our annual Baywatch campaign is an opportunity to focus the parking industry on the problems faced by disabled motorists when parking and sends the message that these bays need to be enforced and managed correctly. We are noticing more opinions coming forward on how disabled motorists think the scheme should be enforced and we are also keen to hear these views.”

Take action now

As well as filling in the Baywatch survey you could also help by writing to your MP. We have a new template letter on our website available for members and public to download. This letter can be sent to your MP to ask them what is being done in your area to tackle Blue Badge parking abuse. To download the letter please visit https://www.disabledmotoring.org/campaigns/blue-badge  Further information on how to contact your MP can be found by visiting https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-an-mp-or-lord/contact-your-mp/ 

DMUK would like to thank all those who participate in this year’s Baywatch Campaign.

Supporting Organisations

We are thrilled to have the support of so many supporting organisations.

   

    

 

  

 

              

 

                

 

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Khiry 's Gravatar
Khiry

Monday, August, 1st, 2022

I think blue badge parking needs to be better enforced and I think local councils could be doing more as I think there’s not enough enforcement especially around blue badge misuse they need to create a system where people being caught should get a tougher fine as a deterrent because I think £1,000 fine it’s not good enough. I think all councils needs to create a system where rather than issuing blue badges make it online just like to congestion charge linked to your vehicle rather than the individual so it can stop people from breaking into people cars and waiting weeks for a replacement.

Steve's Gravatar
Steve

Tuesday, August, 2nd, 2022

On a recent visit to a large supermarket, I noticed several vehicles parked in the disabled bays not displaying a blue badge. I approached the stores customer service and was told that there was nothing that they could and that the car park was looked after by a parking company. I was told to contact the company and was given an email address and a phone number. I approached the parking company and was told that they DO NOT have people patrolling the car park and have no intention of doing so. They said that they have so many car parks to monitor,it is not practical to have people on the ground. They are more interested in catching people over staying the car park time, using car park cameras. Much as I support this campaign, I think it will struggle whilst companies have these attitudes.

Andrew Holford's Gravatar
Andrew Holford

Tuesday, August, 2nd, 2022

As most councils include a minimum quantity of disabled for parking areas, which at its highest level is a staggeringly low 6% of total spaces, surely it is a duty of the council, as the awarding planning body, to monitor usage to ensure and police correct usage?

Don Turner's Gravatar
Don Turner

Tuesday, August, 2nd, 2022

On numerous occassions I have approached people parking in blue badge bays without displaying a blue badge. Responses range from abuse and even physical threats to" sorry lll move now.more responses are of the former than the latter. I have taken my phone out on occassion and informed culprits I would be photographing their vehicle and reporting them. This usually prompts rapid departure but can lead to aggressive response so not recomended unless you are a big guy.When contacting local authority they said they could not persue the matter unless the photo is taken by a uniformed warden. I totally agree with Khiry's comments, except the linking to vehicle as in my case I drive 2 seperate family cars and often get lifts from friends and family.

Andy Hollingbery's Gravatar
Andy Hollingbery

Tuesday, August, 2nd, 2022

At my local village Co-op supermarket the disabled bays are frequently occupied by cars not displaying Blue Badges but the biggest offenders are cars wherein the disabled person is sitting whilst an able bodied passenger does the shopping. I thought the rules clearly state that in order to correctly use the disabled bay, the disabled person must need to exit the vehicle. The problem is the shops are not bothered, they "don't want to upset paying customers". If offenders are approached and the error pointed out all you get is a mouthful of abuse and threats of violence. I'm afraid the "I'm alright Jack" culture and the refusal by teachers and some parents to correct children who err is to blame. Respect for the elderly, infirm and authority is a thing of the past. I've got to the point where I'm just grateful if I can use a disabled bay near my intended destination.

Andy Scott's Gravatar
Andy Scott

Tuesday, August, 2nd, 2022

Blue badge and disabled bay parking enforcement is a tough nut to crack. The guideline percentage for disabled spaces are outdated in my humble opinion and the access from the marked bays is often badly thought out with high curbs etc. I recently found out that disabled bays on private land are for the use of anyone who has need of them regardless of whether they have a Blue Badge or not; unless the signage in the carpark states otherwise. I really hope organisations like the BPA, work with you on this and don’t just give money for a bit of exposure. Keep up the good work. We need organisations like yours.

Janet Austin's Gravatar
Janet Austin

Tuesday, August, 2nd, 2022

When I read your last email, I followed the link in order to use the template to write to my MP about disabled parking in Taunton, Somerset. I got a reply from the local Tory councillor who said “this has got nothing to do with our MP, you need to write to The Council”. This didn’t exactly give me the feel good factor! Janet

Jill Brooksbank 's Gravatar
Jill Brooksbank

Tuesday, August, 2nd, 2022

Recently my local hospital has free parking for Blue badge holders, but no one is checking and any one is parking as the other car parks charge. It took me about 30 minutes to get a space and the other driver did not have a blue badge. I am a wheelchair user. Also our local Tesco does not check the blue badge bays and young men are just parking and running into the store.

Peter Machin's Gravatar
Peter Machin

Tuesday, August, 2nd, 2022

Disabled parking need to be enforced more vigorously than at present as at present there are few traffic wardens about nowadays. There are very few disabled spaces e.g at doctors surgeries, garden centre`s etc etc, that are available.

Pandora North's Gravatar
Pandora North

Tuesday, August, 2nd, 2022

Blue badge parking is a joke in my area (Hertfordshire) I can’t count the amount of times I have just gone home because I can’t park in the blue badge bay. It’s often young fit people that say stuff like it’s ok as I was just popping into the shop! They don’t understand the need we have for parking. Supermarkets also need to inforce it. My local Tesco staff say it’s fine later on in the day when it’s less busy if people park in the disabled parking area but it isn’t because it sometimes makes the difference between me being able to shop or just going back home.

Stephen Birkinshaw's Gravatar
Stephen Birkinshaw

Tuesday, August, 2nd, 2022

It’s very frustrating to look for a disabled parking space and then to find that all the spaces are full and sometimes only a few cars display a blue badge. Often someone who is using the spot only because it is convenient is obviously not disabled. Protection given to these spaces appears to be nonexistent. A good example are the spaces in supermarkets.

Alan Gregg's Gravatar
Alan Gregg

Wednesday, August, 3rd, 2022

I think blue badge can be better, but also since I live in a small town parking can be a premium so if blue spaces are left then maybe they could be used as a 15 mins parking so a prescription or a pint milk if not back

Jeffrey soloman's Gravatar
Jeffrey soloman

Wednesday, August, 3rd, 2022

I have applied once with my local authority for a parking bay outside my home,which was denied ,I'm currently enquiring again into another application as I've recently been diagnosed with another condition.

dr vijaybhasker bolgam's Gravatar
dr vijaybhasker bolgam

Wednesday, August, 3rd, 2022

it needs coordination and cooperation

Tony Saberwal's Gravatar
Tony Saberwal

Wednesday, August, 3rd, 2022

I live in Bath. The Blue Badge spaces have been halved in the Town Centre with the Bus Gate imposed through Milton Street. As such there are a couple of Blue Badge Spaces by Waitrose and a couple of spaces by the Guild hall. People with any business have nowhere to stop - so they use Blue badge spaces on a regular basis Most spaces around the Guild Hall are foe Loading.But even for a few minutes in a Blue Badge space by a non Blue Badge holder is deemed to be occupied and of no use to the Blue Badge holder. I was very surprise the other day - a Black Mercedes Van stopped in a Blue Badge spot - as I followed him into the second and only spot remaining - went to T Max with my wife foe about 40 minutes to return to my car whilst my wife went to Waitrose for another 30 minutes - but this Van was there after we had left. What was amazing was that there was a huge presence of Traffic Wardens and PCs about - but not one of them cared to check upon our Blue Badge status - which the Driver of the Mercedes definitely did not have. I rest my case and hope the traffic Wardens and the PCs on duty can do a bit more to make sure no unauthorised Blue Badge spaces are not abused. Also - there are some reserved spaces by M & S for Taxies. I have no idea why they are there as I have never seen a Taxi ever parked in those 3-4 spaces. Taxis either drop off or pick up - never stopped or parked. Waste of good parking spaces indeed.

Keith  Gregory 's Gravatar
Keith Gregory

Wednesday, August, 3rd, 2022

I find it impossible to park my car at my local shops as non badge holders just pull in park up and ignore the disabled designated places so I have to drive around and around to try to get a place close to where I need to be.Most times I have to Park in a normal place and then have a struggle to get to the shop I need luckily there are benches placed along the pavement for me to rest and collect my breath.There are never traffic enforcement about to issue a fine so councils start to enforce the blue badge parking issue please

Edmund Hobby's Gravatar
Edmund Hobby

Wednesday, August, 3rd, 2022

Both my Wife and I have Blue Badges. We are considered by the DWP to be virtually unable to walk. My Wife is particularly bad. I do the shopping and there are three bays close to the M&S foodhall I use. In my experience it is not so much people without Blue Badges that abuse the system BUT those with a Blue Badge, sit in the car, in a Disabled Bay, whilst their able bodied passenger goes off shopping.I have approached the Local Authority about this question and they have stated that IF they are supplied with details they will act. Of course it is difficult as the disabled persons photo is not on display and to ask a pereson if they are abusing the Badge is likely to get at the least abuse or worst violence. To be frank I go shopping very early to avoid any unpleasantness. Unfortunately some of the problems are caused by Blue Badge holders themselves. I have noticed that those with newer cars ( often a sign a Motability vehicle) are not the problem its the older cars, suggesting that the Blue Badge holder does not get the automatic renewal that the more disabled do. Unless the enforcers have the details of the Badge Holder to hand it is difficult for them. Why is it the photo is hidden? That would surely sort out the abusers. I appreciate it would not stop the other abusers. Those without a blue badge.

Rob sterry's Gravatar
Rob sterry

Wednesday, August, 3rd, 2022

put cameras focused on the vehicles parked which if linked to swansea would know a registered disabled person car and if found to be parking ileagaly they would get a warning in the post if they did it second time a £40 fine would be issued

Trevor Jones's Gravatar
Trevor Jones

Wednesday, August, 3rd, 2022

Hi I am happy here in castle Bromwich as don’t go to far in Birmingham so thanks for all you do for Us

Mr M Bax's Gravatar
Mr M Bax

Wednesday, August, 3rd, 2022

I travel to Corringham most days and find the two bays outside of the Cardfactory are nearly always occupied by vehicles not displaying a Blue Badge. Likewise the areas with yellow lines are also full of non Blue Badge vehicles and I have not seen any Parking attendants for two years. This area is run by Thurrock Council. I also frequent Lakeside shopping centre and again find the disabled bays full with non badge holders vehicles and no sign of any parking attendants

Rachel's Gravatar
Rachel

Wednesday, August, 3rd, 2022

My comments might seem like I’m going off topic but they do have relevance, I promise! I live in the north of England but recently visited the central London on 2 occasions by car. Before my visit, I contracted TFL (Transport for London) to ask about congestion charging. I was told, as I am a Blue Badge holder and drive a car which is exempt from tax, I am also exempt from paying any charges. There are traffic cameras that pick up the drivers registration plate and recognises it as being a vehicle with ‘disabled class’ registration. Vehicle’s that enter the zone which are not exempt, must pay a daily rate of ? £15.00 to enter the capital. Those who do not pay, within 72hrs are fined. Now I know this is a long shot but this would be a fantastic idea for catching drivers who abuse the scheme. (Like the ANPR ones on the motorway). Sure, I know the cost of installing cameras wouldn't be cheap but in the long run, it would be cheaper than having to pay people to patrol and police the spaces. Those who park there without a blue badge or car that is not one that is exempt from taxation, would be fined. I know that not all disabled people drive, so either the badge or the car could be proof of eligibility. Obviously, this is highly unlikely to happen as I don’t think enough people realise the daily struggle that disabled people and their carers/family face. However, one can dream!!!!

Stephen Birkinshaw's Gravatar
Stephen Birkinshaw

Wednesday, August, 3rd, 2022

It’s very frustrating to look for a disabled parking space and then to find that all the spaces are full and sometimes only a few cars display a blue badge. Often someone who is using the spot only because it is convenient is obviously not disabled. Protection given to these spaces appears to be nonexistent. A good example are the spaces in supermarkets.

DAVE.'s Gravatar
DAVE.

Friday, August, 5th, 2022

COUNCILS DO NOT PROVIDE ENOUGH DISABLED PARKING BAYS, THE NUMBER OF SPACES SHOULD BE TRIPLED IN THE SPACE AVAILABLE FOR DISABLED PARKING. DRIVERS WHO PARK IN DISABLED PARKING SPACES WHEN THEY DO NOT HAVE A BLUE BADGE SHOULD HAVE THEIR VEHICLE TOWED AWAY AND PAY A FINE OF AT LEAST £2000 BEFORE GETTING THEIR VEHICLE BACK.

Lynne George's Gravatar
Lynne George

Sunday, August, 7th, 2022

I am a registered Blue Badge Holder, I used to park in the normal bays if my son was shopping with me & just he was going in to the shop. However one time I did this & was caught short in having to go to the loo, of course I was nowhere near the Disabled bays, I will never be caught like that again especially as some of the cars which were parked in the disabled bays did not have badges. So if you do see a car parked Displaying a Blue Badge whose driver does not get out as someone else who walks normally is going into the shop please "think" they may have the same problem - if they are entitled to the Badge they are entitled to park there legally for a reason. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean they are in the wrong. I would be more interested in someone MAKING the Supermarkets & Shops reverse their decisions in placing the Mummy / Toddler spaces far nearer to the entrance than the Disabled ones. Fit & healthy young mother's are obviously more in need of nearer spaces to the doors than someone who has mobility problems!