Council backs ‘blue badge’ clampdown

Thoughtless drivers caught misusing a Blue Badge will now face penalty fines of up to �1000.
Thoughtless drivers caught misusing a Blue Badge will now face penalty fines of up to �1000.

Argyll and Bute Council has lent its support to a Scottish Government campaign clamping down on the misuse of ‘blue badges’ by vehicle drivers.

New legislation, coming into force at the end of this month, will allow the confiscation of badges from drivers and passengers who the council suspects are not eligible to use them.

In Argyll and Bute the council’s amenity and environmental wardens will have the authority to approach people who have parked in a disabled bay and to inspect any Blue Badge being displayed.

If they have reasons to believe the badge is being incorrectly used, they are authorised to confiscate the badge and pass it to the council’s social services department for investigation.

The council’s Policy Lead for Adult Care, Councillor Dougie Philand said, “The Blue Badge scheme can be a lifeline for people with mobility problems and can often make the difference to them to living their lives as fully and richly as they can.

“The council is committed to making it possible for people in our communities to live active, healthier and independent lives, and this includes protecting the use of Blue Badges which provide an essential service for disabled people by allowing access to parking bays which are normally closer to work, shops and other community services.

“It is a criminal offence to misuse a Blue Badge – hopefully this new legislation will make people think twice before they do so.”

Blue Badges are issued by the council, and remain the property of the council, and the council can ask for a badge to be returned if it is being misused.