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Sunday, 30 October 2011

Misuse of parking spaces for disabled people

A non-disabled motorist parking in a bay reserved for disabled people is misusing that space. If the bay is an on-street Blue Badge parking bay, it is an offence for anyone to park there without displaying a valid Blue Badge.

On-street Blue Badge parking bays

It is an offence to park a vehicle which is not displaying a badge in an on-street Blue Badge parking bay. If you see this, you should report it to a traffic warden or parking enforcement officer, the local police or the local council.

Police officers, traffic wardens, local authority parking attendants and civil enforcement officers have the right to inspect Blue Badges.

It is an offence to refuse or fail to produce a badge for inspection, without reasonable excuse. This offence carries a maximum fine of £1,000.

Off-street car parks

The Blue Badge Scheme does not apply to off-street car parks, for example supermarket car parks. However, off-street car parks may provide bays for Blue Badge holders. Please check with notices before parking.

Apart from local council car parks, most are likely to be privately owned and managed by the individual business.

In a local council car park, it is normally an offence to park in a disabled persons' parking bay without displaying a valid Blue Badge. Drivers who misuse such spaces may also have to pay a penalty charge.

There is a difference in privately owned car parks. Charges and conditions of use in off-street car parks are a contractual matter between the car park owner and the motorist. Enforcement of disabled persons' parking bays is therefore a matter for the individual owner or operator of the car park.

If a non-disabled motorist parks in a disabled space in a private car park they can be asked to leave. But it can't be legally insisted. For instance at a supermarket, an employee can ask the driver to move their car from the reserved space. But they can't legally insist on it.

If you think people are unfairly parking in bays reserved for disabled people, contact the management of the store or car park.

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