New powers to tackle misuse of blue badges

Dennis Robertson with protestors wanting better blue badge enforcement.
Dennis Robertson with protestors wanting better blue badge enforcement.

Drivers and passengers who abuse the blue badge scheme could have them confiscated through new legislation coming into force this month.

The blue badge scheme provides an essential service for disabled people by allowing access to parking bays which are normally closer to work, shops and other services.

This parking access often makes the difference as to whether people with mobility problems can live their lives as fully as they can.

The Scottish Government hopes providing additional powers to confiscate badges, cancel lost or stolen badges and levy fines of up to £1,000 people will think twice before misusing them.

Transport Minister Derek Mackay said: “Blue badge misuse is socially unacceptable as it prevents the 228,000 legitimate badge holders across Scotland from accessing the on-street parking concessions to which they are entitled.

“Granting extra powers for local authorities to tackle blue badge misuse and confiscate badges that are not valid or are being used illegally by a third party for their own benefit will allow disabled badge holders to access services in the community and lead independent lives.”

Research conducted by Transport Scotland in 2012 showed that 76 per cent of blue badge holders would go out less often if they were without their badge. Many also felt they wouldn’t be able to go out at all.

Dennis Robertson MSP, who was responsible for taking the legislation forward, said: “When someone misuses a blue badge they do not just take a parking space, they are taking a parking space from a disabled person who is entitled to it.

“When that person is denied a parking space they have to return home and might not be able to do what they went into town for.”