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Crackdown announced for blue badge fraudsters

By Mike Cotton, Town Reporter Thursday 24th July 2014
Parking signs

A CRACKDOWN on abuse and fraudulent use of 'blue badge' disabled parking permits has been unveiled by the council.


Councillors warn that people will be prosecuted if they abuse the scheme which gives disabled people free parking, and enables them to park in disabled spaces and on yellow lines.


The number of people with disabled badges in Barnsley has almost trebled in the last 20 years to 13,500.


Council enforcement officers spent two days checking for fraud to establish the level of misuse, and issued eight penalty charge notices after vehicles were parked using the badges without the badge holder being present.


One badge being used belonged to someone who had died.

 

** The full story appears in the Barnsley Chronicle, dated July 25. **

CommentsClick here to add a comment...
Posted by Malcolm Self I Fri 25th Jul 2014 at 4:55pm

I am pleased that something is being done to catch these people, I see so many people who clearly are not disabled, they are of all ages including young couples who are very fit and walk at a very quick pace.

I hope the small supermarkets do the same, I am amazed at the people park in blue badge bays completely ignoring them even though there are loads of other spaces available. The threat of parking fines does not bother them as they know they are never checked. I was at Royston Asda when the car park attendant was there, he did not check the disabled bays and on that day two of the disabled bays were occupied by people without blue badges. I wish the people of Barnsley understood that genuine blue badge holders need close proximity to stores, I am myself in A Wheelchair.

Posted by Lesley wood I Sat 26th Jul 2014 at 12:10pm

I agree, I too am fed up of people abusing the blue badge parking and yet when you challenge these people you are confronted with threatening behaviour . In America if someone has parked illegally in disabled parking they spend 28 days in prison. Maybe this could be the answer.

Posted by Lucy I Sun 27th Jul 2014 at 9:07am

Not all disabled ppl look disabled everyday. I have fibromyalgia and to most ppl i look fine but in reality i am in constant pain everyday yet the council wont let me have another badge which means I struggle even more with everything and am stuck in the house more with my depression and condition getting worse.

Posted by cm I Sun 27th Jul 2014 at 9:09am

It is true that a LOT of people abuse the system, but you cannot judge people with a blue badge on whether they can walk quite fast or not...not all disabilities which qualify for a blue badge are visible disabiliities.

Not all blue badge holders are the drivers of the cars, and kids can be blue badge holders. We have a blue badge, or more accurately, our daughter does. She is 5. In fact, the car is hers (a mobility car). When she is in the car, we park in disabled spaces - the extra space, and sometimes proximity to shops etc. is needed. When she is not in the car, we park as normal in none-marked bays...the badge is attached to the person, not the car (something some people forget?).

My point, I suppose, is that if you saw us parking in a disabled space, you would just think that we are just a "normal" family with 2 kids. My daughter sometimes uses a wheelchair, but can walk short distances...you might see us getting out of the car, and then walking off...so what do you do? Challenge us? Suggest that we are using the badge improperly? You might not even recognise my daughter's disability. You WOULD be exhibiting threatening behaviour, yes. My wife has been abused several times when parking, legally, with my daughter in disabled spaces.

And finally - it is not YOUR duty to challenge the use of Blue Badges. It is the duty of the issuing authority...only they and the police can demand to see the badge, with the photo card.

Posted by GR I Sun 27th Jul 2014 at 11:30am

I'm 'young', I have a blue badge, I have a baby. To anyone looking I look like a young Mum who can't be bothered parking in a normal space to get her child and pram out of the car and am a bit sick of getting disgusted looks and 'tuts' from people. Don't judge people by how they look. Not all disabilities are apparent. Some people need blue badges to walk less distance, some need them so they have wider parking spaces, some need them because they have serious bowel issues and need quick access to a toilet. So the public shouldn't think a crack down is needed on people who 'look' like they aren't disabled. A crack down is needed on people who park in these bays without a blue badge full stop, or misuse the badge.

And for anyone commenting about how blue badge holders should be fined or stopped from parking in Parent and Child bays - legally blue badge holders are allowed to park in them if there are no disabled spaces free. Yes, it's annoying. Yes, it's easier for parents to get their children out of a car in wider parent and child space (I know from getting my own kid out) and it's annoying when you can't park in them because a blue badge holder is parked there, but at the end of the day a blue badge holder has a medical need for parking in a wider/closer space which unfortunately over rides the need of a parent parking with a child. It sucks, but it's tough and i'm pretty sure these people wouldn't be complaining if the shoe was on the other foot.

Posted by MM I Mon 28th Jul 2014 at 1:07pm

I followed a car into car park and they parked in a disabled bay without a blue badge. I did challenge them, but got abuse in return. So I blocked them in and made them wait my time. Doubt they will learn or understand the need until they genuinly need to use them. But worse of all, I see police cars parking in them. And they just don't care about other drivers needs. Because they are in authority they get away with it.

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