The Council is supporting the British Parking Association’s (BPA) ‘selfish parking’ campaign to highlight why it’s not ok to misuse a disabled parking space or blue badge and reminding the public to be more respectful of those with accessibility needs and with less visible or hidden disabilities.
Over the last year our team of Civil Enforcement Officers, who look after on-street parking services on behalf of Hampshire County Council, as well as Eastleigh Borough Council’s off-street parking areas have dealt with over 180 cases of Blue Badge misuse mainly in and around Eastleigh town centre. Working with the issuing authority, Hampshire County Council, our team have been responsible for a substantial proportion of the total amount of all the successful interventions carried out across the whole of Hampshire.
Research by the BPA shows that the issue of selfish and anti-social parking is a major frustration for many of the public. One aspect of poor parking behaviour is the continued abuse of parking spaces designed for those with accessibility needs, as well as people using expired or invalid blue badges, or another person’s badge.
Leading up to Christmas, the team will be even more proactive helping to ensure that Blue Badge holders are able to park in the appropriate location nearer to their destination. We will be checking that the right people are using the correct badges, and plain clothes officers will also be in attendance.
The most common ways that Blue Badges are used incorrectly includes people using expired Blue Badges, counterfeit Blue Badges, using a Blue Badge when the badge holder is not present and even using a Blue Badge that belonged to a person who has died.
Cabinet Lead for Transport Cllr Tim Groves said, “It is important that we ensure Blue Badges are used correctly and by the person that it has been issued to. Preventing misuse is an important service that is provided to ensure legitimate Blue Badge holders can park closer to their destination.”
A Blue Badge, upon application, can be provided to people who have evidence that they have a substantial difficulty while walking, which is enduring (likely to last at least three years). This helps them park nearer to shops and other destinations. It allows the badge holder to park in designated parking spaces or on some single or double yellow lines. A Blue Badge is issued to an individual rather than to a vehicle, so it enables the badge holder to use it with any car they are travelling in including taxis and hire vehicles.