Redbridge Council sets sights on abuse of disabled parking scheme
10:15 06 August 2014
Redbridge Council is cracking down on abuse of a parking scheme designed to help the disabled.
Enforcement officers in the borough have started exercising a new right to strip individuals of so-called “Blue Badges” - which allow those with mobility issues to leave vehicles closer to amenities - where they are being using inappropriately.
Misuse could include letting someone else use your badge, or using a fake, altered or cancelled permit. Previously it has only been enforced by the police.
Nationwide, such abuse is estimated to cost the taxpayer around £46million a year.
Jon Abrams, from Redbridge Disability Consortium, said: “Redbridge Disability Consortium is pleased that Redbridge Council recognises the importance of ownership of a Blue Badge to disabled people and those who care for them.
“While for the majority, a trip to the high street is simply routine, for many disabled people it is often a journey which is time consuming and full of obstacles and hurdles made all the more difficult when one is unable to park close to where one needs to be.
“This is why the Blue Badge Scheme is of such importance to this group, and why we support Redbridge Council’s efforts to protect it.”
Disabled Motoring UK’s director of policy and campaigns, Helen Dolphin, said she was “delighted” Blue Badge fraud was being tackled “head on”.
“I believe their initiative will really make people stop and think twice before attempting to doctor or misuse a Blue Badge, which only serve to deprive a disabled person from parking,” she said.
“As a quadruple amputee, I know just how important is it to be able to park close to where I need to be.”
Cllr Baldesh Nijjar, cabinet member for environment, said: “Blue Badge misuse is a nationwide problem and Redbridge wants to take proactive steps to ensure we stand up for the disabled community.”