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Blue Badge abuse: new anti-fraud measures

  • Published: Monday, 14 February 2011

New measures to crack down on drivers who abuse the disabled parking system come into force this year. These measures include replacing handwritten Blue Badges with standard electronic ones which are harder to alter and forge.

Changes to disabled parking scheme

Misuse of disabled parking spaces

It is an offence for non-disabled motorists to park in an on-street space reserved for disabled people

Blue Badges provide a vital lifeline to over 2.5 million disabled people every year by prioritising key parking spaces close to important services.

However increasing levels of badge fraud mean those who genuinely need to use these parking spaces often find them taken by people who don't really need them.

The new measures, which will start to come into force from April this year, include:

  • giving local authorities on-the-spot power to recover badges that have been cancelled and misused
  • replacing handwritten badges with standard electronic ones which are harder to alter and forge
  • the wider use of independent mobility assessments to determine eligibility, including where previously that assessment was carried out by a GP
  • sharing administration between authorities – including an online application facility – resulting in faster renewals, reduced abuse and operational efficiency savings of up to £20 million a year

The Blue Badge scheme will also be extended to cover more disabled children under the age of three, while severely disabled Armed Forces personnel and veterans will get continuous automatic entitlement to a badge.

Residency requirements for disabled service personnel and their families who are posted overseas on UK bases will also be removed.

To pay for these improvements, the maximum fee for a badge that local authorities can charge will rise from £2 to £10.

This is the first increase in cost for 30 years and the government believes that, in return, badge holders will benefit from less abuse, improved accessibility and better customer services.

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