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Crackdown on disabled ‘blue badge’ abuse unveiled

Tougher laws enforcing correct usage of blue badges for disabled motorists will be proposed in parliament today. Picture: TSPL

Tougher laws enforcing correct usage of blue badges for disabled motorists will be proposed in parliament today. Picture: TSPL

  • by SCOTT MACNAB
 

A crackdown on abuse of the “blue badge” disabled parking system has been unveiled at Holyrood.

Councils will be given unprecedented powers to confiscate badges which are being mis-used, particularly by family and friends of the holders, and cancel others reported stolen.

It comes amid concerns that current badges, which allow users to park in some restricted areas, are subject of widespread abuse.

Up to 4,000 badges issued to people who have since died are still feared to be in widespread use, after official figures revealed they had not been returned by relatives.

The crackdown was unveiled today by Nationalist backbencher Dennis Robertson who published plans for his Disabled Persons’ Parking Badges (Scotland) Bill.

“Blue badge mis-use is totally unacceptable as it prevents badge holders from accessing the on-street parking concessions to which they are entitled.

“Tackling misuse will help disabled badge holders access services in the community and lead independent lives.”

The Bill has the support of the Scottish government.

Transport minister Keith Brown said: “It makes sense to confiscate badges that are not valid or are being used illegally by a third party for their own benefit.

“The changes will ensure that the scheme is only benefiting those it was intended to help.”

The Bill goes a step further than similar legislation introduced in England and Wales this year with the specific review process against refusal of a blue badge on eligibility grounds.

Anne MacLean, convenor of Mobility Access Committee for Scotland, said: “People should be more aware of the rules which apply to the scheme and the impact of the misuse for disabled people.

“Blue badges should only be used by those people who have been awarded a badge.”

 

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