A CITY driver has been fined hundreds of pounds for fraudulently using a friend’s disabled badge to park while at a beauty salon.
Elaine Bell left her car on double-yellow lines in High Street, Old Portsmouth, rather than in a pay-and-display space.
Blue badge abuse is a crime, and we won’t tolerate it in Portsmouth.Councillor Ken Ellcome, Portsmouth Tory cabinet member for traffic and transport
When parking officers came by to inspect, they spotted a disabled permit on display in the Nissan Qashqai.
As they examined it closer, Bell came out of a nearby beauty salon and told them the permit belonged to a friend who was not with her, and had been left on show by mistake.
But the rules state drivers can only use a disabled badge which doesn’t belong to them if the holder is with them.
Legal action was then taken against Bell, of Eastney, Portsmouth, after she failed to respond to repeated attempts by council officers to contact her about the parking breach.
She was last week found guilty of misusing a blue badge at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court, during a hearing she failed to attend.
She has to pay a total of £876 – made up of a £530 fine, a £53 victim surcharge and £293 costs.
The court heard how council investigating officer Stephen Goodall had spotted her car had been parked on double-yellow lines outside her home ‘many times’ using the blue badge.
The holder of the badge, which was eventually cancelled by the local authority, failed to respond to calls from council officers.
Councillor Ken Ellcome, Tory cabinet member for traffic and transport, condemned Bell’s actions.
He said: ‘Blue badge abuse is a crime, and we won’t tolerate it in Portsmouth.
‘We’re dedicated to protecting the integrity of the blue badge scheme and making sure it helps the people it’s meant to help.’
Earlier this year, the council’s parking team was named team of the year in the national British Parking Awards for its work tackling blue badge abuse. A crackdown was also launched last year on cars misusing disabled parking badges and drivers owing thousands of pounds in unpaid fines.
Michael Robinson, parking manager, warned vehicles would be towed away if they were found breaching the rules.