Barking and Dagenham racks up most blue badge-related fines, study shows
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Motorists in Barking and Dagenham were handed the most blue badge-related fines in the capital last year, research suggests.
In total, 3,714 penalty charge notices (PCNs) were issued, according to Uswitch.com.
The insurance provider collected and analysed freedom of information (FOI) requests from local authorities in the UK to highlight areas with the most blue badge offences.
These include invalid badges, unauthorised use and drivers parking in a disabled space without clearly displaying one.
Of Barking and Dagenham's total, 3,636 PCNs were issued for on-street and 78 for off-street offences, according to the count.
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The borough's total compares to second place Lambeth (2,963) and third place Barnet (2,907).
However, a spokesperson for Barking and Dagenham Council pointed out the figures are confusing as they may be for vehicles parked in disabled bays where people have not displayed a blue badge.
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"This is an indictment on offenders and evidence that we do not tolerate non-disabled drivers parking in disabled person reserved bays," he added.
Anyone who is disabled or with a health condition affecting their mobility can apply for a blue badge, which is designed to help people park close to where they need to go.
You can also apply for a badge if you care for a child with a health condition that impacts their ability to get about.
Joel Kempson from Uswitch.com said: "Drivers who abuse the blue badge policy could face a fine of up to £1,000.
"Yet despite the risk of hefty penalties, it’s clear the law is disregarded by many motorists risking large fines to park for free or closer to their destination."
The scheme is enforced by local authorities. Milton Keynes Council issued more than 5,900 fines in 2020, according to the research.
The Barking and Dagenham Council spokesperson said: "Disabled parking bays are there to ensure people with disabilities and blue badge holders are able to go about their business without being inconvenienced by selfish and inconsiderate drivers.
"As a council, we are working to ensure that we will continue to prosecute people who misuse and abuse the privileges afforded by the blue badge scheme."
He explained there have been a number of cases of misuse of blue badges, especially during the pandemic, which included forged badges being used.