Dunstable woman fined over blue badge abuse

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A Dunstable woman was caught out during a Blue Badge checking exercise in the town.

Julie Green of Dorchester Close, was in a disabled parking bay for blue badge holders in Ashton Square Car Park in Dunstable during the checks on in November last year.

When Ms Green returned to the car, officers approached her to check if she was the blue badge owner. She admitted that the badge belonged to her partner and confirmed that she had dropped him off elsewhere, that she was using the car to go shopping, and that she was to collect him from another location. Ms Green was later asked to attend a formal interview to discuss the matter, but failed to attend.

Ms Green pleaded guilty at Luton Magistrates last week, and was ordered to pay costs of £250 and a victim surcharge of £20, whilst also receiving a criminal record.

During an exercise on 14 June this year, council officers checked 124 Blue Badges. Of these, the council discovered 9 instances where the badge holder wasn’t present, which we will be looking into further.

WCouncillor Richard Wenham, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Corporate Resources, said: “Anyone who illegally parks in spaces reserved for a Blue Badge holder is unnecessarily and selfishly taking a space away from people with mobility problems and other disabilities who genuinely need the space.

“Blue badges are issued to the people in our communities who need them the most. They allow a disabled person to park closer to their home or destination, and so must only be used by another person if the badge holder is present and being dropped off or collected.

“The rules around Blue Badge use are very clear and, if people are misusing them, we will take action.

“If you suspect someone of illegally using a Blue Badge, you can report it the council by calling 0300 300 8035 or email car.badges@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.