Drivers who 'abuse' disabled parking spaces slammed and could be slapped with 'harsher punishments'

Drivers who 'abuse' disabled parking spaces slammed and could be slapped with 'harsher punishments'

WATCH: Parking ticket expert Barrie Segal on how to challenge unfair charges

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 12/04/2024

- 14:55

Five per cent of the UK population has a Blue Badge

Drivers who park in disabled spaces could face harsher penalties as Britons call for a total driving ban for those found guilty.

When asked what the punishment for parking in a disabled space is without a permit, motorists favoured steeper fines, having their cars clamped or, in some cases, a complete driving ban.

A recent report highlighted how more than two-thirds of drivers admitted they had witnessed someone misusing a disabled parking space.

To park in a disabled parking space, drivers must have a Blue Badge on display or they could be fined for improper use.

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blue disbaled sign in car

Blue Badge holders can park for free


If someone is found to be illegally using a Blue Badge, they can be hit with a £1,000 fine and the permit could be taken off them.

Andy Syrett, UK managing director of YourParkingSpace, said: “As someone who has a daughter that relies on a disabled badge, it is very disappointing when you can’t get a space because someone is abusing it, and it makes it extremely difficult to do daily activities.

“It is shocking to see that so many people have been spotted parking in a disabled space when they shouldn’t and it is understandable that UK motorists are calling for harsher punishments.”

According to Department for Transport data, there are currently 2.5 million blue badge holders in the UK, up from 2.4 million in 2022.

Between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023, 1.14 million Blue Badges were issued, an increase of 101,000 badges (9.7 per cent) compared with the previous year.

Further research from the Government revealed that roughly five per cent of the population held a blue badge in 2023.

In 2021, the number of drivers who were prosecuted for misusing the blue badge system was 698, with London having the most cases, followed by the West Midlands and Yorkshire.

The DfT detailed: “The badge is for your use and benefit only. It must only be displayed if you are travelling in the vehicle as a driver or passenger, or if someone is collecting you or dropping you off and needs to park at the place where you are being collected or dropped.

“Don’t allow other people to use the badge to do something on your behalf, such as shopping or collecting something for you.

“You must never give the badge to friends or family to allow them to park for free, even if they are visiting you.

“It’s a criminal offence to misuse a badge. This includes people other than the badge holder taking advantage of the parking concessions provided under the scheme.”

Police officers, traffic wardens, parking attendants and civil enforcement officers have the power to inspect the badge.


Blue BadgeDrivers need to renew their Blue Badge every three years GETTY

If they ask to see the badge, drivers must show it to them. Enforcement officers also have the right to retain the badge, without police presence, if they have reasonable grounds to do so, DfT added.

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