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Misuse of parking spaces for people with disabilities

A non-disabled motorist parking in a bay reserved for disabled people is misusing that space. If the bay is an on-street Blue Badge parking bay, it is an offence for anyone to park there without displaying a valid Blue Badge.

On-street Blue Badge parking bays

It is an offence to park a vehicle in a Blue Badge parking bay, without displaying a Blue Badge. If you see this happening you should report it to a traffic attendant or the local police.

Police officers and traffic attendants have the right to inspect Blue Badges. It is an offence to refuse or fail to produce a badge for inspection, without reasonable excuse. This offence carries a maximum fine of £1,000.

Off-street car parks

The Blue Badge Scheme does not apply to off-street car parks, for example supermarket car parks. However, off-street car parks may provide bays for Blue Badge holders. Please check with notices before parking.

Apart from local council car parks, most are likely to be privately owned and managed by the individual business.

In the case of local council off-street car parks, it is normally an offence to park in a parking bay for a person with disabilities without displaying a valid Blue Badge. Drivers who misuse such spaces may also have to pay an 'excess charge'.

There is a difference in privately owned car parks. Charges and conditions of use in off-street car parks are a contractual matter between the car park owner and the motorist. Enforcement of parking bays for people with disabilities is therefore a matter for the individual owner or operator of the car park.

If a non-disabled motorist has parked in a bay reserved for people with disabilities in a private car park, for example a supermarket, an employee of the store can ask the driver to move their car from the reserved space - but they cannot legally insist on it.

If you think that people are unfairly parking in bays reserved for people with disabilities, speak or write to the management of the store or car park.