When does an unsafe place to park suddenly become safe? When the driver has a blue badge. Mr Mustard on the rules governing disabled parking permits

Times Series: When is an unsafe space safe? When the driver has a blue badge When is an unsafe space safe? When the driver has a blue badge

Dear Mr Mustard,

Many residents have commented to me on the large number of blue badges they have seen on cars in our high streets and their doubts whether all of these are being used legitimately. I saw one very questionable instance and asked the parking attendant if they could challenge the driver. I was told that even if they knew the use of the badge was fraudulent it was not their job to get involved.  However, I understand the police consider enforcement a council issue, so do we assume that potential misuse is never challenged?

I have also noticed that in some town centre locations with double yellow lines cars displaying blue badges are parked there more or less continuously. What is the point of the double yellows if in reality there are always vehicles parked there?

Yours,

Graham

Dear Graham,

Thank you for your question. Given the sheer number of blue badges in issue in Barnet alone, about 15,000, there must be some fraud.

Oh dear, traffic wardens seem to know how to issue penalty charge notices by the thousand but not much else. The Blue Badge Rights & Responsibilities Guide says "Police officers, traffic wardens, parking attendants and civil enforcement officers have the power to inspect your badge. These people should produce an identity card with their photograph on it to prove they are who they say they are. If any of these people ask to see your badge, you must show it to them. If you do not, you will be breaking the law and you could be fined up to £1,000", so that is pretty clear.

What the contract with the parking enforcement contractor, NSL says in the invitation to tender is: "The service provider may be asked to assist the council in the detection and prevention of blue badge or permit fraud" and: "Proposals are invited for providing this service on an ad-hoc basis."  So based upon your experience no such request has been made.

The council used to do checks, as this article from 2009 shows. Perhaps it is time they did some more as that will act as a deterrent to others. The cynic would say there is no money in it for the council so they don't bother but it is the council's duty to uphold the law in this area to stop it falling into disrepute.

Harrow Council can carry out checks, as this story shows, as can Enfield Council (you may have reported this).

Perhaps if more complaints were made to councillors at their ward clinics, the need for checks would rise up their priority list.

As for double yellow lines, it is a central government rule that blue badge holders can park on single or double yellow lines for up to 3 hours if they display their badge and a clock set showing their arrival time. I do know that that restriction is rigidly enforced. You must have seen a series of cars parked one after the other if a car was there all day. I agree it is odd that a place that isn't safe for a car to park when not showing a blue badge suddenly is if a piece of card is in the windscreen.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Mustard

Comments (3)

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4:53pm Sat 19 Apr 14

Earpoo says...

the amount of blue badges in expensive sports cars outside the robert dyas area of Finchley high Road is quite funny sometimes. Then you see a large man with his gym bag returning to it.

But i've also seen a parking warden paid off twice with £20 notes in the same area.

When people can use fraudulent blue badges in front of my driveway and I have NO RIGHTS in the situation according to wardens, it very much feels like the system isn't working and us who choose to play along are repeatedly brushed aside.
the amount of blue badges in expensive sports cars outside the robert dyas area of Finchley high Road is quite funny sometimes. Then you see a large man with his gym bag returning to it. But i've also seen a parking warden paid off twice with £20 notes in the same area. When people can use fraudulent blue badges in front of my driveway and I have NO RIGHTS in the situation according to wardens, it very much feels like the system isn't working and us who choose to play along are repeatedly brushed aside. Earpoo
  • Score: 3

6:41am Wed 23 Apr 14

Mr. Datchery says...

"These people should produce an identity card with their photograph on it to prove they are who they say they are."

Err..no, each blue badge must have a picture of the person for whom it was issued on the back.
"These people should produce an identity card with their photograph on it to prove they are who they say they are." Err..no, each blue badge must have a picture of the person for whom it was issued on the back. Mr. Datchery
  • Score: 1

2:32am Mon 12 May 14

Mr Travis says...

Earpoo wrote:
the amount of blue badges in expensive sports cars outside the robert dyas area of Finchley high Road is quite funny sometimes. Then you see a large man with his gym bag returning to it.

But i've also seen a parking warden paid off twice with £20 notes in the same area.

When people can use fraudulent blue badges in front of my driveway and I have NO RIGHTS in the situation according to wardens, it very much feels like the system isn't working and us who choose to play along are repeatedly brushed aside.
According to the DoT... you do have rights if a dropped kerb and vehicle entrance is blocked. It would be a misuse of a badge.
From page 22 at https://www.gov.uk/g
overnment/uploads/sy
stem/uploads/attachm
ent_data/file/206022
/blue-badge-rights-r
esponsibilities.pdf
"... Safe and responsible parking
Do not park where it would endanger, inconvenience or obstruct pedestrians or other road users. Examples of dangerous or obstructive parking include the following, although there are others:
• school entrances, bus stops, on a bend, or near the brow of a hill or hump bridge;
21









Dropped kerb
• parking opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction, except in an authorised parking space;
• where it would make the road narrow, such as by a traffic island or roadworks;
• where it would hold up traffic, such as in narrow stretches of road or blocking vehicle entrances;
• where emergency vehicles stop or go in and out, such as hospital entrances;
• where the kerb has been lowered or the road raised to help wheelchair users; and
• on a pavement, unless signs permit it. ..."

Misuse of Blue Badges can be reported to Barnet's Assisted Travel Team on 020 8359 4131
[quote][p][bold]Earpoo[/bold] wrote: the amount of blue badges in expensive sports cars outside the robert dyas area of Finchley high Road is quite funny sometimes. Then you see a large man with his gym bag returning to it. But i've also seen a parking warden paid off twice with £20 notes in the same area. When people can use fraudulent blue badges in front of my driveway and I have NO RIGHTS in the situation according to wardens, it very much feels like the system isn't working and us who choose to play along are repeatedly brushed aside.[/p][/quote]According to the DoT... you do have rights if a dropped kerb and vehicle entrance is blocked. It would be a misuse of a badge. From page 22 at https://www.gov.uk/g overnment/uploads/sy stem/uploads/attachm ent_data/file/206022 /blue-badge-rights-r esponsibilities.pdf "... Safe and responsible parking Do not park where it would endanger, inconvenience or obstruct pedestrians or other road users. Examples of dangerous or obstructive parking include the following, although there are others: • school entrances, bus stops, on a bend, or near the brow of a hill or hump bridge; 21          Dropped kerb • parking opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction, except in an authorised parking space; • where it would make the road narrow, such as by a traffic island or roadworks; • where it would hold up traffic, such as in narrow stretches of road or blocking vehicle entrances; • where emergency vehicles stop or go in and out, such as hospital entrances; • where the kerb has been lowered or the road raised to help wheelchair users; and • on a pavement, unless signs permit it. ..." Misuse of Blue Badges can be reported to Barnet's Assisted Travel Team on 020 8359 4131 Mr Travis
  • Score: 0

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