NEWS COMMENT: Blue badge abusers are cheating the system
Parking in any big city, including Portsmouth, is often at a premium but that doesn't give drivers the right to flout the system.
And Portsmouth City Council’s transport boss Councillor Simon Bosher has vowed, quite rightly, to hit hard those drivers who abuse the blue badge parking permit which is issued to disabled drivers so they can park in places the general public can’t.
It has been revealed that since January 2014, 52 people have been prosecuted for 108 offences within the council’s parking enforcement area.
Two of the latest people to appear in court for using someone else’s blue badge have been dealt with, and it hasn’t come cheap.
A 50-year-old man who used a badge in his 10-year-old son’s name was fined £600 plus nearly £450 in costs. And it wasn’t the first time he had been reprimanded for the same thing. He clearly didn’t learn from the first occasion.
A woman used her mother’s disabled badge to park her car close to her work, and then compounded the issue by lying on appeal.
The original ticket would have cost her £35, but in court she was fined £900 plus nearly £450 in costs.
The blue badge disabled parking scheme can be a lifeline for those with disabilities.
It often means they can still use their car to get about and be more independent safe in the knowledge that they can generally park closer to their destination which means they don’t have to walk so far.
The authorities say the public are losing faith in the system as more drivers break rules surrounding the badge.
The city council’s message is crystal clear. It will come down hard on those who try and take advantage of someone else’s badge.
And be warned, the financial punishment is hefty, not to mention the fact you will have a record.