Tougher rules on Blue Badge parking

Lincoln Blue Badge holders are facing five-fold increased costs of getting the permits, as well as tougher sanctions, as the Government implements major reforms.

New measures are set to come into force in April, when the maximum fee for a badge that local authorities can charge will rise from £2 to £10.

The cost increase is to fund the replacement of handwritten badges with standard electronic ones, which are harder to alter and forge.

Local authorities will also be provided with an on-the-spot power to recover badges that have been cancelled and misused.

The Blue Badge scheme will also be extended to more disabled children under three years of age and severely disabled Armed Forces personnel and veterans.

Residency requirements for disabled service personnel and their families who are posted overseas on UK bases will also be removed under the new measures.

Transport Minister Norman Baker said: “The Blue Badge Scheme makes a real difference to millions of disabled people every day.”

“Such are the high levels of fraud in the current system that 50% of Blue Badge holders now find it difficult to get a parking space and Blue Badge fraud is estimated to cost £46m a year.”

When it takes over parking enforcement duties later this year, the Lincolnshire County Council says it will support any initiative that reduces abuse of the badges.

Jan Goff, Operations Manager at the County Council said: “We’ve only just received details from the Government on the changes to the Blue Badge scheme, so are still in the process of digesting the proposals.

“However, we’d certainly support any initiative that would help reduce abuse of the badges while making it easier for those with a genuine need to obtain them.”

Meanwhile, Lincolnshire Police officers and PCSOs will have the power to fine motorists parking illegally after March 31.

This comes after the force issued redundancy notices to its five parking wardens, two of which are for Lincoln.

Yearly funds of £40,000 for the two parking wardens responsible for the Lincoln area were ring-fenced by the City of Lincoln Council.