Blue badge car cheats are caught red-handed

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ABUSERS of blue parking badges intended for disabled motorists were caught red- handed in a clampdown operation in Hemel Hempstead town centre on Thursday.

The swoop, which saw almost 100 blue badges checked, resulted in six badges being confiscated as local authorities joined forces to expose people cheating the system.

Half of the six confiscated badges were being misused by members of the badge holder’s family while the other three were being used after they had expired.

One blue badge holder, Brenda Kilford, 62, said: “It’s about time these people were dealt with. The disabled car parks around town are always full and that’s because so many people have been using badges illegally. They just don’t care.

“One of my friends is in a wheelchair and he has to park 400 metres away from the town centre. It’s really not right.”

Mrs Kilford said on Monday that it was the first time she had been able to find a space in the Bank Court disabled car park in eight years.

Dacorum Borough Council’s cabinet chief for finance and resources Councillor Nick Tiley said: “The blue badge parking system is intended for those with a genuine need and we will take enforcement action against people who are misusing them.

“We need the help of all blue badge holders to make sure their friends and family do not misuse their badge and to make sure the badge is displayed properly under the guidelines issued to them.”

The action follows a similar clampdown in Hemel Hempstead last year and the council warned that a similar operation will soon be replicated in Tring and Berkhamsted.

What do you think? Is enough done to enforce blue badge use? Or should the scheme be scrapped entirely? Let us know your thoughts, our contact details are on page 2