Charged for wrongly parking in disabled bays
Council bosses in County Durham are cracking down on drivers abusing disabled parking spaces – with motorists fined more than 7,000 times in the past three years.
A Freedom of Information Request submitted to Durham County Council reveals 7,359 penalty charge notices were issued between 2015/16 and 2017/18.
While the council has raked in £176,022 in payments for motorists parking in spaces reserved for the disabled, the number of fines have dropped by 18% or 475 since 2015/16.
The figures have been welcomed by council bosses, who aim to send out a “clear message” to those flaunting parking rules and regulations in the county.
Strategic traffic manager for DCC, Dave Wafer said: “We provide disabled parking bays near local amenities to allow people with limited mobility to access the same facilities as everyone else.
“People using such bays do so out of necessity and although the vast majority of motorists respect this, some choose to ignore the signs and road markings.
“We can confirm that whilst our overall level of enforcement has remained constant over the past three years, the number or people parking in disabled bays without a valid blue badge does appear to be reducing.
“By continuing to enforce against those who misuse them, we are sending out a clear message that it will not be tolerated.”
The standard charge in Durham for parking in a disabled parking space without displaying a blue badge, or displaying an invalid blue badge, is £70. This can be reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days from the first issue of the penalty charge notice or challenged in an appeal process.
Head of communications at disability charity Scope, Phil Talbot said:“Local residents should be pleased to know the council is serving their disabled residents by cracking down on this activity.”