Strengthened powers to tackle blue badge abuse

Measures aimed at strengthening the ability of local authorities to tackle the abuse of the blue badge disabled parking scheme have today been welcomed by the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Regeneration Committee.

Part of the Disabled Persons’ Parking Badges (Scotland) Bill, the measures include the ability for local authorities to confiscate badges in certain cases of misuse. The Bill also brings in an offence to display a blue badge that has been cancelled.

Committee Convener, Kevin Stewart MSP said: “The blue badge parking scheme provides a vital lifeline to people across the country. It helps deliver a degree of independence and quality of life that without the scheme, many people simply would not have.

“However, this independence is threatened by the abuse and misuse of blue badges. That is why our Committee welcomes these tough new measures. Abusing the blue badge scheme is not a victim-less crime and this Bill will assist in making spaces available to those in need.”

During evidence the Committee heard from local authorities, Police Scotland, the Law Society of Scotland as well as groups representing blue badge users. The Committee heard that the scheme was widely used by disabled people to access jobs, shops and community services with one local authority estimating that at least 20 per cent of its parking spaces were used by blue badge holders.