Week-long Blue Badge crackdown

Parking enforcement officers are to have a week-long crackdown on people in Inverclyde who misuse the Blue Badge scheme.

For the first time, Inverclyde Council is taking part in the National Blue Badge Day of Action and plans to extend it to a full week in a bid to tackle the problem.

Blue Badges are issued to either a disabled driver or a disabled passenger. They can only be used when the vehicle is being used to transport the disabled person.

More than 5,700 Blue Badges have been issued in Inverclyde but sadly parking attendants often find people misusing the badge by, for example, parking in disabled parking bays when the Blue Badge holder isn’t present or isn’t getting out of the car.

Parking Disabled Badge Holders Only Sign
Blue Badge parking sign

Misuse of the Blue Badge will result in an £80 fine and the badge being seized for up to 14 days before being returned.

If a Blue Badge holder has had their badge seized several times, the local authority can look at cancelling it.

As part of the crackdown, from Monday, parking enforcement officers will be focusing on disabled parking bays across Inverclyde to make sure the rules are being followed.

Convener of Environment and Regeneration, Councillor Michael McCormick, is firmly behind the crackdown.

He said: “Misuse of the Blue Badge is a crime and the people who lose out are the Blue Badge holders themselves.

“They can’t give their Blue Badge to anyone else and they must make sure they park in the right places.

“Inverclyde has a few disabled parking bays which are timed and have been in place for a few years now. The onus is on all drivers to make sure they are following the rules for where they park their car.

“Ignorance is not an excuse I’m afraid. All Blue Badge holders are issued with guidance for how to correctly use their badge.

“If the badge is seized that can have an impact on getting to things like important hospital appointments.

“I fully support the parking enforcement officers in this crackdown. Blue Badges are issued to help those who really need them and the more people who abuse the system who are caught and stop doing this, the better.”

In 2023, 45 Blue Badges were seized in Inverclyde and 285 parking charge notices were issued. In 2022, 37 badges were seized and 241 fines were issued.

West Blackhall Street in Greenock and Kempock Street in Gourock are the sites of the majority of parking charge notices.

The National Blue Badge Day of Action takes place on Friday, May 24 and is coordinated by Lambeth Council. It is a day where participating councils intensify enforcement, increase public awareness, and educate communities on the correct usage of Blue Badges.

This initiative aims to protect the rights of disabled motorists and ensure reserved parking spaces are used properly.