Parking problems as badge system abused
Dec 19 2008 by Katie Campling, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
DISABLED drivers are struggling to access parking spaces – because people are abusing the ‘blue badge’ system.
New research by the Department for Transport shows that 90% of disabled drivers surveyed in Yorkshire struggle to access suitable parking spaces.
One reason appears to be that people who should not be using the spaces are parking in them – using borrowed disabled blue badges.
Around 5% of Yorkshire drivers admitted lending their badges to friends and relatives. More than a third of people nationally said they did not think this harmed anyone.
Yet half of those questioned said that parking in a disabled space if you do not own a badge is totally unacceptable.
Blue badges can only be used by able-bodied drivers if the disabled person is in the vehicle, or they are picking them up or dropping them off.
Golcar man Brett Hobbs was among seven motorists who recently admitted misusing blue badges at Manchester Magistrates’ Court.
Hobbs, 36, was fined £1,200 in November after using a blue badge belonging to his dead mother-in-law to park his Ford Escort van in Manchester city centre.
He and others were caught out after City Council investigations earlier this year.