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Oxford,
06
February
2019
|
09:45
Europe/London

Bogus Blue Badges… Temporary amnesty, with tough action to come

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VIDEO - Blue Badge Amnesty v3

What difference does one parking space make? A lot to people with reduced mobility.

Oxfordshire County Council is continuing its tough stance against bogus use of Blue Badges. It is introducing a temporary amnesty – between 11 and 22 February – to allow people to hand-in badges they’re not entitled to – No questions asked.

But, the council has warned there will be tough action, following the amnesty, against anyone continuing to abuse the scheme.

The Blue Badges could have expired, belong to another person or no longer be necessary. Motorists can hand them in at County Hall, or at any library around the county, or send them to: Blue Badge Service, PO Box 873, Oxford, OX1 9NY.

County Councillor Judith Heathcoat, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, which also includes Customer Services, said: “The Blue Badge Service is a lifeline for many disabled people who cannot travel far from their vehicle. However, the system is sometimes sadly abused by a minority, which affects those who rely on it. We would like to give the opportunity to people who may be misusing Blue Badges to dispose of them and avoid the risk of prosecution.”

Oxfordshire County Council provides services that enhance the quality of life in our communities and protect the local environment.

Over 21,000 citizens in Oxfordshire have a Blue Badge issued by the county council. This service is highly valued by people who struggle with mobility. It is designed to help them remain independent and reduce loneliness.

The badge holder can use it whenever they travel as a driver or a passenger. However, the Blue Badge should never be used by anyone else if the badge holder is not present on the journey.

Busting Blue Badge abuse

Councillor Judith Heathcoat added: “Whilst the national performance is mixed, Oxfordshire has a very strong track record of taking Blue Badge enforcement seriously.

“Where the scheme is misused or abused, we will take a strong stance to ensure only those who need, and qualify for a Blue Badge benefit from it. If people are misusing or abusing the scheme, the council takes appropriate action to protect genuine badge holders against fraud.

“Misusing a Blue Badge is a serious offence that can result in removal of the badge, a fine of up to £1,000 and a criminal record. We will not stand for the abuse of this scheme. I would like to remind anyone misusing a Blue Badge that we carry out regular enforcement campaigns.”

Last year, 650 Blue Badges were checked and 18 removed. 2,157 Penalty Charge Notices were issued to people parked in a disabled bay without a Blue Badge during these enforcement operations.

For further information about the Blue Badge scheme, including how to apply online, visit the website:

www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/disabledparking

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