New measures to tackle the rising number of reports of suspected abuse of the Blue Badge scheme are to be brought in by Buckinghamshire County Council.
Designed specifically to improve access for those with very restricted mobility, the national scheme has become open to various types of abuse by both badge holders themselves and others, including friends, family and colleagues.
Examples of common misuse include using a badge issued to a person who has since died, or badges that are no longer valid or reported as being lost or stolen. Other examples include letting a friend or relative use the badge or using a fake or copied badge. Cases can also be brought against anyone making a fraudulent application for a blue badge.
Those found to be fraudulently using a Blue Badge for easier parking across Buckinghamshire could face prosecution, fines of up to £1000 and possible withdrawal of the badge itself.
County Council Cabinet Member for Resources, John Chilver said that it was abhorrent to think that people would actually abuse a system designed to help disabled people get on with their lives.
‘It’s shocking that people stoop to this level,‘ he said. ‘But reports are increasing and it’s time for us to clamp down on this clear and blatant fraud to safeguard genuine Blue Badge holders.
My advice to anyone who knows they are misusing a badge is to stop doing it now before they are caught. We will be carrying out more checks than ever before, so I make no apology when I say people have been warned.‘
Further information about Blue Badges, a full set of questions and answers and how to report possible misuse can be found on the Buckinghamshire County Council website at https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/transport-and-roads/blue-badge/.