Figures released by the Department for Transport last year show that 99% of prosecutions actioned for illegal use of Blue Badges last year were for non-badge holders using another person’s Blue Badge.
The report, which covers England over the 2017/18 period, showed that the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham was prosecuted the most people for misuse of Blue Badges, with every one of these cases involving an individual who was using a Blue Badge that was not theirs.
The report also showed that 59% of English local authorities – 89 authorities in total – have a policy regarding the prosecution of individuals misusing Blue Badges. This shows a rise of 5% from last year, with 54% of authorities without a policy planning on implementing one in the future.
There were a total of 1,215 individuals prosecuted across England in 2017/18, with the four biggest prosecutors of those misusing Blue Badges over the period behind Hammersmith and Fulham being Newham, Leeds, Kensington and Chelsea, and Ealing. Combined, these councils accounted for 36% of the number of prosecutions that occurred during 2017/18.
English councils issued 859,000 Blue Badges between April 2017 and March 2018, a decrease of 3.2% compared to the previous year. In the same period, the number of Blue Badge holders decreased by 1.2% to 2.35 badge holders. Only the East and West Midlands saw an increase in the number of Blue Badges being issues overall, per the DFT’s figures.
Last year it was announced that the Blue Badge scheme was to be extended to include people with hidden disabilities, marking the largest shakeup to the system in 40 years. The criteria for inclusion will be clarified, allowing people with hidden disabilities such as autism and mental health conditions to more easily attain what is regarded as a lifeline for many disabled people.Get your copy of UNITE Magazine
Image: Wikimedia/Tony Webster