Disabled badge abusers set for crackdown 1

It’s perhaps a common theme throughout Britain. You arrive at a supermarket and notice many people parking in the designated disabled bays that don’t have any justification to park there. Figures state that over 2.5 million people a year need to use disabled parking spots. Fraud of these badges which results in improper use meaning many badge holders can’t use their designated spots.

The Government has listened to concerns from many disabled groups and in combination with supermarkets they are taking action. The supermarkets who are in support of the crackdown are Aldi, Marks and Spencer, Lidl, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose and Morrisons. A spokesperson from the major store Lidl described how committed they are to the new enforcement scheme. “At Lidl, we are fully committed to assisting the Department for Transport’s successful implementation and modernisation of the Blue Badge scheme. We will continue our ongoing, effective monitoring of our car parks and enforcement methods to prevent abuse of the disabled parking bays at our stores.”

The Local Transport Minister Norman Baker is the man responsible for getting the supermarkets onside. In a statement released by him he highlighted the current problem and was hopeful of more support for Disabled Badge holders.

“Many disabled people and disability groups have told me about the problems they have in finding a disabled bay at supermarkets because of their abuse by people who have no justification for parking in reserved spaces. I am delighted to have secured the support of the major supermarket groups and to know that they share my view that abuse of Blue Badge parking bays needs to be tackled, protecting customers who rely on such spaces. I hope other large retailers will now follow suit and consider what action they can take to help their Blue Badge customers.”

From now on supermarkets will issue parking charge notices and may enforce a car park patrol. Announcements over tannoy systems may also occur. The disabled badges themselves will also be much harder to forge. Getting supermarkets on board is a major step as the hunt for disabled badge abusers is not being enforced on private car parks.

It is easy to understand the frustration and anger when abuse of the parking space occurs. Disabled blue badge holders will be hoping that this new scheme helps assign designated disabled parking spaces to the correct badge holders. Much more support is likely to follow the current supermarkets already committed.

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