Despite new figures that show local authorities almost doubled the annual number of prosecutions over misuse of the badge during (985 compared with 535), Disabled Motoring UK say that only a minority of councils took cases to court.
80% of all the prosecutions in 2014-15 were taken by just nine local authorities.
The overwhelming majority of cases were against non-disabled people using another person’s Blue Badge. Only 28 cases out of the 985 were against Blue Badge holders.
Graham Footer, chief executive of DMUK, said: “The improving statistics are encouraging as they show that more local authorities are taking this issue seriously by prosecuting offenders.
“However there is still a long way to go and we’d like to see 100% of local authorities actively prosecute. A written policy does nothing unless it is put into practice.”
There are now 2.39 million Blue Badges held in England – 4.4% of the population.
This figure has decreased each year since the reforms of the Blue Badge application process in 2011/12.
DMUK are asking disabled people to write to their MP to ask what is being done to tackle misuse in their area. A template letter can be found here
To see if your local authority was one of the authorities that uses prosecution check the DfT’s statistics here.
Councils with most Blue Badge prosecutions:
- Hammersmith & Fulham 190
- Leeds 179
- Waltham Forest 120
- Newcastle 116
- Lambeth 56
- Wandsworth 49
- Bath & North East Somerset 38
- Enfield 36
- Bradford 26