Charity's praise for Leeds council's crackdown on blue badge misuse

Ilkley Gazette: Charity's praise for Leeds council's crackdown on blue badge misuse Charity's praise for Leeds council's crackdown on blue badge misuse

A council’s crackdown on people who misuse disabled parking badges in Aireborough, Horsforth and parts of Wharfedale has been praised by a disability charity.

Leeds City Council has brought legal proceedings against 95 people since May, 2012, for abusing its blue badge scheme.

The authority had previously only issued warning letters but decided to adopt a tougher stance, both to keep parking spaces free for those genuinely in need and deter offenders.

Disability Motoring UK welcomed the crackdown.

Director of policy and campaigns, Helen Dolphin, said: “We really applaud councils like Leeds that actually take people to court.

“It is only when people see that it is possible that it makes them think twice about abusing the scheme.”

Motorists found guilty of abusing the scheme risk losing their blue badge and being hit with a fine of up to £1,000.

The council, which sent out more than 700 warning letters between November, 2010 and May, 2013, said it decided to adopt a policy of immediate prosecution because the softer approach was “clearly” not working.

Its blue badge scheme allows legitimate badge holders to park in on-street bays free of charge, and without a time limit.

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