A new review of blue badge parking violations in England over the last two years has revealed that the London borough of Newham has notched up the most fines for infringements in disabled bays.
The East London council said it had issued more than 12,000 fines to motorists for failing to display a blue badge, or incorrectly parking in a disabled bay, in the last 48 months.
However, less than half (48 per cent) of the 145,000 disabled parking fines sent across the country over that period were actually paid, the new research claimed.
Where’s your blue badge? Some 41 councils across England issued 145,274 fines for disabled parking violations in England over the last two years, a new investigation has found
Vehicle finance provider Moneybarn analysed data from 41 local council areas in England to discover which areas had the most and least parking violations from vehicles parked in disabled bays, plus the percentage of these that were cancelled.
A total of 145,274 penalties were issued by authorities between August 2016 and the same month in 2018.
Motorists may be issued a parking fine if a parking attendant didn’t see the right documentation – a Blue Badge that needs to be clearly visible in the front window – displayed correctly.
The investigation was conducted in the wake of a recent report that found that there has been a recent spike in blue badge thefts in the last year, and a six-fold increase since 2013.
The results showed that Newham had issued 12,080 fines for disabled parking bay infringements from 2016 to 2018.
It was closely followed by Nottingham Council and Barnet Council in second and third place respectively, which sent 11,461 and 9,359 disabled parking fines each.
Councils that issued the most and least disabled parking violation fines (August 2016-2018)
1. Newham – 12,080 fines
2. Nottingham – 11,461 fines
3. Barnet – 9,359 fines
4. Northamptonshire – 8,590 fines
5. Southwark – 7,320
6. Nottinghamshire – 6,338 fines
7. Durham – 6,182 fines
8. Haringey – 5,438 fines
9. Cheshire West – 5,255 fines
10. Barking & Dagenham/Camden – 5,083 fines
1. Norfolk – 50 fines
2. South Staffordshire – 166 fines
3. Richmond – 322 fines
4. Stockton on Tees – 391 fines
5. Lincolnshire – 634 fines
6. Southend – 988 fines
7. Redcar and Cleveland – 1,211 fines
8. Royal Borough of Greenwich – 1,288 fines
9. Wokingham – 1,356 fines
10. Bexley- 1,476 fines
London dominates the table of councils having to issue the most fines for incorrect use of disabled parking bays
Unsurprisingly, given the volume of vehicles and disabled bays, London dominated the rankings with the most fines being issued, with six boroughs from the capital featuring in the top 10.
On the flip side, Norfolk County Council topped the list of authorities with the lowest number of disabled parking offences committed, registering just 50 fines over the two-year period.
But far from all these fines are paid, the research found.
The car financer said that, on average, less than half (48 per cent) of the disabled parking fines across the country between 2016 and 2018 were upheld – for a variety of reasons.
It said more than half of fines for disabled bay offences were incorrectly issued because CCTV cameras hadn’t picked up the blue badge, a parking attendant couldn’t see the badge or thought it was being displayed incorrectly.
It also found cases of drivers breaking parking rules by mistake because their disability made it difficult for them to understand the rules or had impaired them from returning to their vehicle in a designated time.
Bristol was found to have cancelled the highest proportion of fines it sent out, with over a third being torn up.
Wokingham, on the other hand, upheld the highest volume of blue badge related fines – 99 per cent over two years, in fact.
Councils that cancelled the highest & lowest proportion of disabled parking violation fines issued
HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF FINES CANCELLED
1. Bristol – 34% cancelled
2. Poole – 29% cancelled
3. Cambridgeshire – 26% cancelled
4. Richmond – 24% cancelled
5. Norfolk – 22% cancelled
HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF FINES UPHELD
1. Wokingham – 1% cancelled
2. Lincolnshire – 2% cancelled
3. Reading – 3% cancelled
4. Barking&Dagenham – 5% cancelled
5. Camden – 5% cancelled
Less than half of fines issued for disabled parking violations are upheld, Moneybarn’s study found
Moneybarn said motorists who believe they parked correctly or received a fine due to a mobility issue should always appeal the charge.
The final decision to uphold or cancel the fine is up to the discretion of the council, so drivers should be detailed in their plead to be excused from a penalty.
‘It’s vital disabled parking bays are kept free for those who need them,’ Tim Schwarz, head of marketing at Moneybarn, said.
‘That said, if you feel like you have been issued a fine incorrectly, follow the appeal process issued by your council and ensure you have the correct information and documents to hand.’
Motorists can challenge a parking fine online using the Gov.uk site.
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