Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Abuse of Blue Badge Scheme Sees a Person in Court Each Week

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Abuse of Blue Badge Scheme Sees a Person in Court Each Week

Article excerpt

EVERY week one person is prosecuted in Manchester for abusing the disabled parking scheme, according to official figures.

Across England, 1,215 people were prosecuted for misuse of the Blue Badge scheme in the 12 months to the end of March - and 52 were in Manchester.

It is one of 89 local authorities that prosecutes people for using a badge if they are not entitled to do so. Some 3.1 per cent of the population has a Blue Badge. The national rate is 4.2pc.

And the data from the Department for Transport shows that just 44pc of those automatically eligible for a badge have one.

There are 17,226 badge-holders in Manchester compared to 17,565 in 2017, according to the Department for Transport. Across the country, 2.35 million badges have been given out by local authorities to people with disabilities or individuals and organisations concerned with their care.

What The badges allow the holders to park closer to their destination and remain for longer. They are valid for three years.

you Write to: M.E.N, House, Oldham, Or email: @men-Blue Badges can be issued automatically to some people, such as those receiving higher levels of disability allowance or registered blind.

In Manchester, in the 12 months to March 2018, 5,700 new badges were issued, 3,541 automatically and 2,089 after a further assessment.

Kamran Mallick, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said that a difference in Blue Badge usage across the country was partly the result of the availability of accessible public transport.

do think? Viewpoints, Mitchell Henry He said that people in rural areas were more dependent on cars.

Hollinwood Ave, OL9 8EF viewpoints He said: "The Blue Badge scheme is an important and essential part of ensuring that we, disabled people, can participate and live our lives in society.

"With public transport not universally accessible the use of a car is essential for many. …

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