Blue Badge Bulletin - avoiding misuse
Published Friday, 26 August 2016
We are contacting all Blue Badge holders to remind people about the important rules of the scheme which are commonly misunderstood.
This guidance will help drivers avoid the consequences of misusing a Blue Badge and we would therefore urge you to share it with your friends, family and anyone driving on your behalf.
We are also taking this opportunity to provide information about the joint campaign between the London Boroughs of Bromley and Bexley to prevent Blue Badge misuse and maintain the integrity of the Blue Badge scheme. Our campaign is fully supported by councillors and senior officers of both boroughs.
As a badge holder, you may have noticed that our officers are checking Blue Badges more regularly, or you may have been asked to hand over your own Blue Badge for inspection. Our officers always wear an identification badge and their routine checks apply to any driver displaying a Blue Badge. As long as the badge is being used in accordance with the scheme rules, there should be no cause for concern.
- Blue Badge misuse is a criminal offence which could lead to a £1,000 fine and confiscation of the badge.
- A Blue Badge should only be displayed if the badge holder is travelling in the vehicle as a driver or passenger, or for a driver to park at the place where the badge holder is being picked up or dropped off.
- Blue Badge holders must never allow friends or relatives to use the badge to run an errand on their behalf. This includes shopping or parking for any other reason when the badge holder is not there.
- The badge holder should not simply sit and wait in the car while a friend or relative goes shopping. The badge holder is not benefitting from this and it could prevent another badge holder from parking within a manageable distance of their destination.
- The badge holder is not benefitting if an able bodied driver displays the Blue Badge to visit them – the badge holder must be part of the journey.
We appreciate that there may be very good reasons why the badge holder is not present when one of our officers inspects a Blue Badge. For example, they may be attending an appointment or doing some shopping. To establish where the badge holder is, our officers will offer to walk with the driver to find them, wait for them to return, or ask the driver to contact the badge holder by phone. In genuine cases, we appreciate that this may be inconvenient and apologise in advance, but we do need to establish the whereabouts of the badge holder on each occasion, if we are going to be successful in cracking down on the current widespread abuse of this much cherished benefit.
The badge holder must be part of the journey, if not; our officer will confiscate the Blue Badge, record the driver’s details and issue a Penalty Charge Notice. The case may then progress to a criminal prosecution. We sincerely want to avoid this course of action and would urge you to ensure your family and friends are aware that the badge holder must be part of every journey when a Blue Badge is displayed.
More information about our campaign
Signs are on display on-street and in our car parks and information cards are being distributed by our officers. The cards are designed primarily to warn unscrupulous drivers who are intentionally misusing Blue Badges, but also to give you a direct route to report misuse if you believe it is occurring.
We appreciate that you may be concerned if you receive a card, but we can assure you that distribution is routine to any vehicle with a Blue Badge on display. Why not keep the card in your purse or wallet so that you have it to hand when you need it? You can report misuse anonymously, but if you do provide your details, these will be confidential and only used to enable us to get in touch if we need more information from you.
You can find full details of the Blue Badge scheme rules in the The Blue Badge scheme: rights and responsibilities in England.
You can use our online services to:
To report Blue Badge misuse occurring in Bromley or Bexley by phone, please call: 020 8313 4800
We sincerely hope this information is helpful, but if you need further details or wish to contact us, please visit the respective website below: