MSP Robertson consults on blue badge misuse law

 

Dennis Robertson MSP has also called for a proper appeals process for those who are refused blue badges

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An MSP has launched a consultation on a proposed law to crack down on the fraudulent use of blue disabled badges.

Dennis Robertson's private members' bill would see officials being given beefed up powers to confiscate badges which are not being correctly used.

The blind MSP for Aberdeenshire West also wants a proper appeals process for applicants refused badges on eligibility grounds.

Mr Robertson said he was looking forward to hearing people's views.

The SNP politician, who is a blue badge holder, added: "Finding suitable parking spaces, particularly in towns and cities, is difficult at any time.

"However, if you have a disability it can be even more difficult to find a parking space close to your destination, whether it is for work, education or leisure."

He said there were cases of people reapplying for badges using the names of holders who had died.

Mr Robertson's proposal has had backing from the equal opportunities committee of the Scottish Parliament.

Blue badge holder Pamela Mitchell said parking for disabled could often be a difficult issue.

She explained to BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme: "It is quite a big problem, you will often find people parked in disabled spaces who are clearly not disabled and when you challenge them they are pretty hostile - so it can be very difficult trying to find a parking space."

Keith Brown, Scotland's minister for transport and veterans, said the blue badge scheme was a "lifeline" for thousands of disabled people in Scotland and it made sense to consult on options for tightening enforcement powers.

He added: "This will enable consideration to be given to how best to ensure that these crucially important parking concessions are used for the purpose for which they were intended - to help severely disabled people retain their independence and live full lives."

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 330.

    the most important problem the country has is this?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 329.

    A disability isn't always visible: just because people can walk doesn't mean they're not entitled. Even deaf people can get one in some areas.

    But simply putting a photo of the entitled person on the front would massively curb much of the fraud.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 328.

    There are far too many disabled parking spaces.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 327.

    I think that these badges have been handed out like confetti anyway, I see the cars parked every day on double yellow lines causing traffic queues, yet the occupants seem quite able to drag their wheezing, fat carcasses to Iceland and back without any trouble. While the genuinely disabled are being wholly neglected. Revoke the lot and reassess.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 326.

    314.The Rockabilly Red

    Some of 'these people' have conditions which mean they cannot possibly squeeze out a car door or in through a car door unless the door is fully open. That's a big clue as to why the spaces are there and wider.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 325.

    Secondly, with regards to comment 323, yeah some people might be able to get to the office, there's no guarantee that after that exertion they'd be able to get back!
    Thirdly appearances are deceptive, it is extremely ignorant to assume that because you can't see a disability there is none. Someone with a chronic problem might find it excruciating to walk 50 yrds, you don't have a clue!

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 324.

    Firstly, improperly using a blue badge is the very definition of a "victimless crime," no-one is harmed by this in anyway - is there any difference between someone coming to a full set of bays where one person is using a blue badge where they shouldn't or them turning up to a full set of bays all with legitimate reasoning.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 323.

    The legal requirement for a BB is that 'you cannot walk at all or are virtually unable to walk'.

    My Council asks ambulatory applicants, 'did you get parking outside the entrance?' If they reply that they've had to park elsewhere, then that's an automatic refusal.

    Quite correct too; if you can walk to the Council offices from a car park then, by definition, you are disqualified from holding a BB.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 322.

    My local council has started charging for all street parking in or near the town centre - councillors and council staff still park for free of course.
    Come to think of it Councillors are still paid a "salary" - ironically, it's a tory council.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 321.

    re: 37. laughingdevil
    >>>I'm all for blue badges ...the number of spaces that are allocated.

    I agree. Always a massive over-provision of disabled parking spaces, I have never, ever, in any car park, seen more than 50% of them used - most of the time, most of them are empty. In fact, in some poorly surfaced car parks I've seen them with weeds growing through cracks in the tarmac!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 320.

    #16 re temp permits,same point as myself 287.
    Temp permits for those who because of accident, surgery etc & need a little help for a short time would be helpful. After surgery on both feet was SO tempted by the BB spaces as I really had difficulty walking across "open spaces" didn't want to use a stick & risk becoming dependant on it & long term disabled. Might have needed a full time BB then!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 319.

    One simple expedient would be to have the badge holders photograph on the visible side of the blue badge since the badge holder must be present in the vehicle whilst in use. Since these badges are issued by the local council could not the register of deaths be cross checked to withdraw the badges of deceased persons?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 318.

    @288.Adam
    "Just because they have the label of 'disability' attached to them, doesn't always mean they can't perform simple tasks like walking across a car park."
    Being disabled doesn't necessarily qualify a person to get a blue badge.

    @Lady Glasgow. "In Scotland, the BB does have a photograph of the person on it, but it is on the back!"
    Then they should be moved to the front and be large.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 317.

    I live on a seafront and I see constant abuse of blue badges by friends and families of disabled people and badges used by people who can walk miles when they get out of their cars. But I am also aware that my cousin who looked healthy and well had a badge because he was terminally ill and died within a few months of getting his badge. Better checking is definitely needed.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 316.

    I got the form for a Blue Badge - the first question was:

    Are you blind.?

    I did not bother reading more than a few of the questions.

    It is an EU wide form.

    I simply can't walk or carry anything from the 5th floor where the only spaces are ever available.
    "Blue" spaces on the ground floor are often empty, + a few 30 minute slots - I can't get to the shops & back in 30 minutes.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 315.

    314
    I wish I was as fit as the rest of you.You seem to have an odd idea of 'fit' to drive and 'fit' to go around a supermarket.There are many drivers so-called fit who should not be behind a wheel.As for 'fit' shoppers most are not fit to be out alone! DVLA has to be notified if an incapacity affects driving anyway.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 314.

    Assuming one is fit enough to drive safely to the supermarket etc, one must also be fit enough to move around the supermarket etc. So how can these people be not fit enough to make their way from car to door, in the same way as the rest of us?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 313.

    @310 Oh dear, are you a former flower power merchant and live in a world of peace and love where everything is fluffy and you have now morphed into an eco-mentalist by any chance?? Waken up !!!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 312.

    we have heard all this before. jackie baillie's intro of law re misuse of parking spaces was a total waste of time.
    any law can be introduced, but is useless if not enforced. the misuse of spaces being a case in question.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 311.

    Zedboy why do you need to be close to the entrance just because you have a pushchair ?When my kids were young I had 2 in a pushchair and walked miles no problem fresh air did us good.I am disabled now and cannot understand why they need to be closer than disabled as in one of Tesco stores here,wider yes but not closer.Lots of stores have electric scooters to help us shop.Disabled bays are full too

 

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