A CRACKDOWN on motorists who illegally misuse disabled blue badges in Wigan borough has seen one offender hit with a court fine and 70 issued with warnings.
Wigan Council has led the blitz over the past eight months on those who abuse the blue badge system in a bid to stamp it out in the borough.
The misuse of blue badges is an illegal and wholly selfish act which abuses a system there to help disabled people in our communitiesCoun Paul Kenny
Earlier this year Arvind Pindoria, aged 50, from Rothwell Street, Bolton, was ordered to pay a £257 fine and costs after pleading guilty at Wigan Magistrates’ Court to misusing a blue badge.
Pindoria admitted unlawfully using a disabled person’s blue badge on Hewlett Street, Wigan. The badge he was using belonged to his mother who was not present and it was confiscated by a council enforcement officer.
As well as this successful prosecution, Wigan Council has issued 70 letter warnings in the past eight months to people deemed to have abused the blue badge system.
As part of the crackdown Wigan Council has also created on online reporting tool for people to report blue badge abuse. This is via Wigan Council’s website:
Coun Paul Kenny, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for resources, said: “The misuse of blue badges is an illegal and wholly selfish act which abuses a system there to help disabled people in our communities.
“We hope this warning sends out a clear message to people who are currently misusing blue badges in the borough that they are risking being taken to court and receiving a heavy fine.
“Blue badges are a huge help to disabled people to get out and about and they should only be used by the person whose name is on the badge.”
David Eccles, general manager of Shopmobility in Wigan borough, welcomed the tough approach the council had taken.
He said: “Disabled bays are designed to be close to the shops so that disabled people have less distance to walk. When people abuse them they are stopping people who are genuinely in need of the bays from using them.”
A number of departments in the council joined forces to work on the robust approach including parking services, civil enforcement officers, fraud and audit and customer services.