A blue badge holder only sign

Council taking positive action against Blue Badge misuse

Northumberland County Council is reminding motorists around incorrect use of the national Blue Badge scheme. 

The scheme is designed to help disabled people park closer to their destination by providing a clearly visible badge which can be put in the front windscreen when parked. 

And although the vast majority of badges are used correctly, there is a small minority who misuse other people’s Blue Badges, either to save money by parking in disabled bays or through laziness and a wish to park closer to where they want to go. 

Recently there has been a number of incidents where badges have correctly been confiscated after being used to park up, even though the registered badge holder is not in the car. 

Inspections have been taking place after genuine Blue Badge users raised concerns about the badges being misused. 

Last year the County Council’s Civil Enforcement Officers retained ten Blue Badges that they believed were being used inappropriately for further investigation by the Council’s Corporate Fraud Team. 

Councillor Gordon Stewart, Cabinet Member for Looking After Our Communities, said: “The Blue Badge parking scheme is key for our residents with mobility problems or hidden disabilities, allowing them to park their vehicle close to their destination, either as a passenger or the driver. 

“However, misuse of blue badges is not acceptable and means that those who genuinely need to use these parking spaces can find themselves displaced by people who do not. 

“It’s selfish and anti-social and our Civil Enforcement Officers are quite right to take this positive action. 

“As a council we are committed to supporting those genuine users who need access to parking spaces to lead more active and independent lives. 

“Those who misuse them can ultimately be fined or at the least having the inconvenience of the badge being seized and receiving a written warning.” 

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