Wokingham Borough Council crack down on blue badge misuse0
Wokingham Borough Council parking enforcement team and business assurance officers worked together with Thames Valley Police on Friday April 13 in Woodley to make sure that blue parking badges, which provide a range of parking and motoring concessions for people with disabilities, are being used correctly. The aim is to make sure that those who need to access disabled parking facilities are not being prevented from doing so by those using the scheme or badges incorrectly or fraudulently.
During the exercise, over 120 badges were checked with drivers being advised on when and how they should be using disabled parking badges and bays. One blue badge was seized by the police as the holder of the badge was not present at the time of its use.
Blue badge fraud is an increasing problem across the country and has led to new eligibility and enforcement powers to combat the misuse of badges.
Wokingham Borough Council’s director of business assurance and democratic services Muir Laurie said: “This initiative was extremely well received by the public and the team will be conducting further similar operations throughout the borough.
“The most common misuse was disabled parking bays being used when the blue badge holder was staying in the vehicle. Disabled parking bays are to enable the person holding the blue badge to have easier access to local businesses and community amenities; it is not free parking for their families. In these cases, the usual pay and display parking facilities should be used to allow disabled parking bays to be available for other badge holders.”
Anyone concerned about the misuse of a disabled blue badge can report them in confidence to the whistleblowing hotline on (0118) 974 6550 or via email at: [email protected]