Charged for wrongly park­ing in dis­abled bays

Sunderland Echo - - News -

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.”

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