Scotland politics

MSP Robertson consults on blue badge misuse law

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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