Selfish parkers blocking city's Blue Badge spaces

DOZENS of Blue Badge holders are routinely prevented from parking in disabled bays in Glasgow, according to a new study by a Scottish charity.

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Blue badge holders are finding it increasingly difficult to park
Blue badge holders are finding it increasingly difficult to park

Research by the MS Society revealed 80% of its members are regularly unable to access the reserved spaces.

Many of those surveyed also said they suffered abuse when they challenged motorists who either didn't display a Blue Badge or were fraudulently using the Government-issued parking passes.

Michelle Logie, 52, from Glasgow, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 12 years ago, said: "Glasgow is one of the places in the UK where Blue Badge misuse is regular and the prevalence of abuse is high - more so than elsewhere. It's actually quite shocking."

The former sales director said she can face a barrage of insults when she complains to people who have parked illegally in disabled bays.

She said: "Only last week I was going into the city centre and there was a taxi sitting in the only disabled bay available.

"I sat behind the taxi but he didn't move. He was chatting to a friend. It was about 30 minutes before I got the space.

"I used to get out the car and speak to them, but I'm in a wheelchair now so it's difficult. I also don't want to be confrontational anymore - I have been abused.

"On one occasion I asked to see a Blue Badge and the person in the picture wasn't there. When I pointed that out I was given a mouthful.

"On another occasion I challenged a few young guys who had parked in a disabled bay at Braehead and they swore at me and called me all kind of names.

"At the same mall, I approached a chap who actually agreed to move his car out of the bay but then locked his car and walked away. It was an absolute insult."

Mrs Logie added: "When someone takes a disabled space they're not entitled to, it's discrimination. The only way to stop it is by hitting people in the pocket or with points on their licence."

The MS Society has called for a crackdown on those who misuse disabled bays and Blue Badges after their survey of 180 people in Scotland revealed 8 out of 10 were regularly prevented from parking.

The charity's policy and campaigns manager, Sarah Richard, said: "People with disabilities rely on protected parking to be able to live independently.

"If that means making the badges harder to defraud, and giving traffic wardens and parking attendants more power to remove misused badges from circulation then this has to be a good thing for disabled people."

Misuse of a designated Blue Badge parking bay is covered by a traffic regulation order enforced by councils, which can issue fines of up to £1000.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: "We take it very seriously when people park in disabled bays without displaying a valid badge as it denies legitimate users access to these bays.

"We treat this as a priority and, where possible, remove offending vehicles to allow other users who have mobility issues access to these bays."

peter.swindon@eveningtimes.co.uk

Automotive

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