Drivers rack up £4m in fines for using disabled bays
Motorists were fined more than £4m for abusing disabled parking spaces in 2017, new research finds.
Data obtained by Confused.com through Freedom of Information requests to UK local authorities revealed up to 97,138 drivers were on the receiving end of a fine for parking in a designated disabled person’s parking space without displaying a Blue Badge permit in 2017, equating to some £4,244,949 in penalty charge notices (PCNs). And a further £1,709,679 was issued in PCNs to motorists for blocking a dropped kerb.
The data also found motorists are more inclined to hop in a disabled parking space during busier periods, for example, during the Christmas shopping rush. In fact, 16% of offences for parking in a disabled parking space without displaying a Blue Badge in 2017 happened throughout November and December.
The data also identified a clear need for more spaces for Blue Badge holders, with analysis by Confused.com finding that there are currently more than 42,000 council-owned parking spaces for disabled drivers and 1.2 million Blue Badge holders in the UK – which works out as 34 permit holders to one disabled parking space. And government plans to open up the Blue Badge scheme to include invisible disabilities in 2019 will add to the shortage of spaces for disabled motorists or passengers.
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said: “We urge drivers to do the right thing and stick to standard parking spaces to avoid being landed with a fine. If they’re worried about a lack of parking, then leaving that little bit earlier might give them more time to find a space.”