Crackdown launched to combat “Blue Badge” misuse

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A crackdown is being launched on drivers who misuse disability parking badges.

From Monday traffic wardens will be checking whether cards are being used legally - and not by family members when they are out on their own.

They will be passing on information to police who have the power to confiscate badges and prosecute.

A new badge, costing £10, is being phased in which has new in-built security features designed to cut abuse of badges - 12,472 of which are held by people with disabilities in the city.

Coun Danny Brown - who is registered disabled and has difficulties walking - said abuse of the card was a real problem.

He said: “You wouldn’t believe how much of a problem it is. I’ve just been to the Station Hotel now and as usual of the three bays, one was occupied by a non-Blue Badge holder. I see it happening every day. The badges are for the individuals but family members are using them to some extent - I can understand that it saves having to pay for parking.

“Unfortunately I know people who have been threatened. The attitude is “so what? it doesn’t matter.”

The Government estimates fraud on the cards costs the UK as much as £46m a year in lost parking revenue and punishing offenders, as well as making it more difficult for people with genuine disabilities to park.

On average, 1,750 badge holders park in Hull city centre spaces every week.

Coun Martin Mancey, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport, added: “This permit is a lifeline for people with disabilities, enabling them to park close to essential services. We want to protect people with genuine disability needs and will be working with Humberside Police to stamp out misuse of the system.”

Meanwhile Hull Council says cuts of £75,000 to the parking warden service run by Vinci Park Services won’t affect the number of foot patrols - but there will be three fewer people deployed on mopeds.