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Crackdown on blue badge misuse

Civil Enforcement Officers at Wyre Forest District Council completed a month-long operation in May as part of a crackdown on the misuse of disabled blue badge permits within the district.

With an estimated three million blue badges issued in England and Wales and close to 10,000 badges issued in Worcestershire alone, demand for parking in disabled bays is high.

In the month of May the council’s team inspected a total of 157 badges displayed by drivers parking in the district council’s car parks and at busy on-street parking bays in the towns of Kidderminster, Stourport and Bewdley.

The majority of permits inspected were being used properly, however officers discovered 10 blue badges being misused. These were retained and returned to Worcestershire County Council, which administers the scheme.

Officers also spoke to another 75  badge holders to offer relevant advice such as how badges should legally be displayed.

Councillor John Thomas, Cabinet Member for Operational Services said: “The blue badge scheme is designed to give people with genuine disabilities easy access to shops, services and town centres. The majority of permit holders in Wyre Forest are using the scheme properly. Our annual campaign serves as a timely reminder that we will take action if we do spot people using permits fraudulently.

“Blue badge misuse is a serious offence which can result in a maximum fine of £1,000, as well as withdrawal of the badge. It is important that disabled parking spaces are reserved for those who genuinely need them most.”