The Baywatch Campaign of Disabled Motoring UK has helped gathered data of disabled parking abuse on local supermarket car parks. The research said that 1-in-5 disabled bay spaces are used by drivers with no disability and we, at Gemini Parking Solutions, believe that the numbers could be even higher.
The unfair use of car parks is not only detrimental to your establishment because of the day-to-day influx of complaints from unhappy customers but it can also say a lot about how you are handling parking management. Knowing basic information about disabled parking bays and management can help you face the issues that might come up in the future and act on it fairly .
The Blue Badge Scheme of England
To administer a national agreement of parking privileges for disabled people, the Blue Badge scheme was established in 1971. It provides the capability to park near the establishments and services they need. However, it does not apply to off-street car parks, although they may provide bays for Blue Badge holders. On the other hand, parking on on-street Blue Badge parking bays without having a badge is an offence and carries a maximum fine of £1,000. Police officers, traffic wardens, local authority parking attendants and civil enforcement officers have the prerogative to ask for a Blue Badge if the person is parking at on-street Blue Badge parking bays.
Blue Badge holders also have the responsibility to use their badge fairly. They should be the driver or the passenger able to use their badge. People using Blue Badge under the possible pretence that a disabled person is having them run an errand will not be accepted and can be liable for misuse which could lead to prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.
It is important to know that this Blue Badge scheme doesn’t apply on London, Westminster, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and that part of the London Borough of Camden to the south of and including Euston Road. These areas have their own concessionary schemes for disabled people regarding car parking. London, for example, applies the Red Badge scheme which gives parking privileges for people with disabilities who are city residents or permanent city workers. Red Badge holders can park in payment parking bays and disabled bays without paying while Blue Badge holders can park for their purchased time.
On-street and Off-street Parking Spaces for Disabled Persons
Parking spaces for disabled persons should be close to major establishments, like banks, Post Offices and supermarkets, and should not be further than 150 metres away. If the off-street car park has less than 200 spaces, it should have 3 bays dedicated for a disabled person’s use. If it has over 200 spaces, it should have 4 bays plus 4% total capacity.
Enforcement of Off-street Car Parks for Disabled Persons
Because off-street car parks, like the supermarket and local council car parks, are not accountable to the Blue Badge Scheme, carrying out a fair use of car parks for disabled persons becomes a matter of management solely for the owner or the operator of the car park. There are no legal bindings that can keep people who are misusing the disabled bays in check, so the only action one could take is to ask the person to leave or to contact the management of the establishment.
Because of this, it is important to have a reliable method to address every person’s car parking needs. Gemini Parking Solutions devote effort to address this need and we acknowledge that the abuse of disabled spaces is a major problem in busy commercial spaces such as retail parks. Our systems are designed to ensure a fair car park where you can monitor disabled bay usage, enforce rules and prevent abuse. This would make a huge difference in parking management and would mean stopping unauthorised use of disabled parking bays.
Misuse of disabled bays fell by 70% across three cars parks in Greater London after adding our enforcement methods. We can conduct a site survey to assess the most suitable method of enforcement to keep your car park fair.
Contact us today on 08712002143 to discuss disabled bay management.