Charity launches campaign to tackle disabled parking space abuse

Published 17 August 2021

A disabled motoring charity has launched a national campaign to raise awareness of the misuse of disabled parking bays. 

Disabled Motoring UK (DMUK) is asking members of the public to share their car park experiences over the past 12 months. The charity is inviting the public to take part in an online survey and report on cases of disabled parking bay abuse they have seen. The charity is also asking people to say what actions were taken by the car park operator to tackle the problem. 

More than 750 people took part in the research in 2020, with more than half saying they had never seen signs of Blue Badge enforcement at supermarkets. A shocking 86 per cent said supermarket staff had not taken action when they reported the misuse of the parking space.

DMUK will present the results of the survey to the parking industry and encourage it to take the problems of disabled motorists more seriously and manage their parking provision correctly. The Baywatch campaign also aims to change public attitudes by bringing to the attention of disabled bay abusers the impact that their actions can have.

Graham Footer CEO of Disabled Motoring UK said: "With the results of this survey, we hope to continue informing the parking sector of these common experiences of disabled bay abuse, making them aware of the significant impact it can have on Blue Badge holders when they are not able to access services the way they should due to the inconsiderate parking of others."


hissingsid    on 18 August 2021

As well as disabled parking spaces at supermarkets, the parent and child spaces are also widely abused with no attempt at enforcement. The supermarkets would rather turn a blind eye than risk losing custom.
Some people are so lazy that they stop on the yellow lines outside the supermarket entrance to use the cashpoint, rather than find a parking space.

daveyjp    on 19 August 2021

Are DMUK still providing this dis-service to disabled drivers? I'm sure they must know by now that blue badges aren't a requirement in private car parks.

Lee Power    on 20 August 2021

Waitrose near me, the disabled parking spaces are further away from the front of the store then the parent & child spaces.
The disabled spaces are also further away then the click & collect spaces.

It seems being disabled through no fault of your own means you have to park further away compared to someone that has decided to get themselves pregnant or uses click & collect.

TCCisTCC    on 27 August 2021

It is not just about distance to walk. The width of disabled spaces enables people to open their doors further to get in and out.

conman    on 21 August 2021

The Government are partly to blame for this as they have upped the number people able to claim Blue Badges even if they are not physically disabled. People with mental health problems and people that are having cancer treatment and many more are given Blue badges even though they can walk perfectly well. People that have to use wheelchairs is a different matter. My wife who recently died from cancer was given a Blue Badge but refused to use it as she felt people with physical disabilities should have priority.
At the Tesco near me you usually find the odd Porsche or large SUV's parked in the bays not showing any respect for disabled people and not displaying a blue badge. I did approach one such SUV owner who came verbally abusive and stormed off wheels spinning.
The answer is very simple all parking bays whether private or public should sign up to allow local traffic wardens to exercise their duties on their properties and this should be clearly displayed on a sign. If there is a vehicle parked in a disabled bay not displaying a badge or if the person that it relates to is not in the vehicle. It should be clamped immediately there is no excuse. The fine should be raised to £300

JackIoW    on 26 August 2021

Totally agree. With hardly any traffic wardens or police the mean and selfish just don't care.

NEIL SCARLETT    on 26 August 2021

I was at my local "Buy loads of booze for less" store when several large men parked their Transit van in a disabled space. I was shocked that the young ,woman who was acting manager, did nothing about it. Disgusting.

JackIoW    on 26 August 2021

Not a lot that a young woman could do about several large men is there really.

NEIL SCARLETT    on 26 August 2021

She could have used a bit of common sense, something that is sadly lacking these days.

Edited by NEIL SCARLETT on 26/08/2021 at 20:07

tom brehony    on 26 August 2021

UNFORTUNATELY, There is so much abuse of disabled bays and blue badges.Enforcement seems non existent. Outside every supermarket it is so obvious local authorities do absolutely nothing to enforce infringements. Any public event for example football matches you can see disabled people running to there cars to avoid traffic congestion. { amazing powers of recovery)...

Southerly95    on 26 August 2021

At my local Tesco store the disabled bays are further away than some of the public spaces and there are a good few of them so rarely get filled up. As a right leg above knee amputee I use a small mob scooter and hoist it in and out of my estate with no prob so can manage without a disabled bay.
Where I do have problems are hospital car parks where almost all blue badge spaces are occupied by non badge holders.
DMUK are wasting their time with supermarkets unless they can impose fines and the govt won’t do that. I have explained the hospital issue to DMUK and they don’t want to know!

KingRat999    on 27 August 2021

Yes, disabled parking spaces are often abused, and a lot of time by 'marked' van drivers. But I have to agree that the 'parent and kids' parking spaces are VERY often abused too. Probably more so than the disabled parking bays.

A car recently parked in a disabled parking space, a man woman and three kids. All jumped out and I politely, and with a smile, challenged the driver, but was told, "I have one of those hidden disability's thingies" As I also suffer one of those conditions I again politely asked him what was wrong. He asked me to go away. Well not quite like that, but that was the gist.

After he'd left I checked his disabled badge. The picture showed an elderly driver and was 3, yes 3, years out of date. I wonder how many times he had abused the system with this badge?

As an afterthought, I wondered that it may be an idea to change the colour, still blue, but with a thick distinctive colour stripe across the top. The colour should be changed every year, which means, as blue badges are only issued for 3 years nowadays, that would mean only 3, maybe 4 colours should ever really be in use. It would certainly stop some abuse, but I don't know what else is possible, except even higher fines. But they don't work now do they?

Rhodes-Finney    on 6 September 2021

Isn't funny if you exceed a couple of hours in a supermarket car park they will enforce and fine yet when it comes to disabled car park abuse they turn a blind eye. One of duties was disabled access officer and the biggest gripe by disabled groups was disabled parking at superman and that was ten years ago and still the abuse goes on

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