Bromley and Bexley councils have suffered from a history of widespread abuse and fraud in relation to Blue Badge parking. The councils reported that on many occasions, user groups with disabilities were often unable to locate a parking space within an accessible distance to their destination, resulting in disabled motorists being forced to abandon their trips.
In 2016, the two boroughs jointly launched their Blue Badge Misuse Campaign to tackle this fraudulent activity and to help safeguard the rights of disabled motorists and passengers. Several new parking measures were implemented to deter improper use, including:
- Warning signs displayed in key areas on-street and in car parks.
- Specific training for CEOs and Kiosk Attendants in car parks.
- Daily Blue Badge checks by CEOs to ensure badges on display are valid and concessions are being used for the benefit of badge holders only.
- Distribution of business cards encouraging badge holders to report misuse concerns.
- Regular ‘call in’ days when the validity of Blue Badges displayed within vehicles on-street and in car parks are checked through the national database.
- Distribution of feedback cards to encourage drivers to leave their comments after an inspection.
- An awareness campaign including a news bulletin and survey, regular updates and a guide to ‘Blue Badge Rules’ was provided through the councils’ websites.
Bromley and Bexley councils report that the scheme has been successful at combatting Blue Badge fraud with more than 80 prosecutions to date since the campaign launch. Moreover, the survey results show that over 80% of those surveyed thought the bulletin was helpful, more than 60% had seen the warning signs displayed and over 45% agreed that the campaign’s misuse prevention measures are effective. The councils have also received a number of positive testimonials from Blue Badge holders in regard to the success of the scheme.
Source: London Boroughs of Bromley & Bexley (2018)