DRIVERS were fined more than £50,000 for parking in disabled bays in the space of just three years – with thousands of pounds more being chased, figures reveal today.

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Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information act by The Ipswich Star show that traffic wardens in the borough handed out 1,829 tickets between 2009 and 2011, bagging £53,788 in fines.

Barbara Thorn, chairman of Ipswich Mencap, which offers support to youngsters living at Lombardy Park, said she was “angry” that normal-bodied motorists “continue to flout the law” and park in disabled bays.

She said: “It’s so frustrating when someone, who is clearly not disabled, has parked in a disabled bay.

“They don’t realise the inconvenience it causes. They need to see it from the other side.”

In 2009 there were 784 tickets issued for parking in disabled bays, collecting £22,407.

A year later this dropped to 527 fines, totalling £15,889, and in 2011 wardens amassed £15,492 through 518 tickets.

Mrs Thorn added: “I have two sons who are disabled and have had many arguments at my local supermarket with people who have parked where we should be.

“It’s so annoying. People need to be educated on the effect.

“They can’t be bothered to walk an extra couple of minutes and have no consideration for others. It’s not right.”

Councillor Philip Smart, transport portfolio-holder at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “We take a firm line against motorists who park illegally in bays set aside for disabled drivers.

“Not only am I pleased that our collection rates are going up, I am pleased that the ‘fair parking’ message seems to be getting through and there are less incidents now than in previous years.”

By the end of 2011 there were 113 tickets – worth £7,910 – issued to motorists for parking in a disabled zone that had not been settled.

In 2010, £1,610 worth of tickets were written off, which dropped to £1,330 a year later.

The Blue Badge entitles disabled people to use on-street disabled parking spaces, usually located as close as possible to the goods and services that they may need to access.

Blue Badge holders may park on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours in Ipswich, except where there is a ban on loading or unloading.

4 comments

  • I actually annoys me when disabled cars park in the parent and baby parking!!! We need them just as bad and not because we need to park close to the store its so we can get our car seats in and out!!! The amount of times I've had to back my car out a bit before having enough room to get my baby in coz I've had to park in a normal bay because blue badge holders have our spaces!!! I bet there would be hell to pay if it was the other way round!!! It makes me sick!!!! Stick to your own bays and if they are full do what the rest of us have to do and deal with it!!!

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    Kerry Talman

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • This is the other side of yesterdays article about a "parking ticket" on an industrial estate. I have no problem with non blue badge holders being issued with tickets for on street parking offences - I do believe there is a lot of abuse of the system where other members of the family "borrow" the blue badge to enable them to park, even though the badge holder is not even in the vehicle. The badge is displayed but the photograph of the holder is not. I think most complaints will come from the "abuse" of the designated supermarket parking areas.I used to work for a large supermarket chain and there were loads of complaints. They had official company notices available to be placed on the offending vehicles windscreen but no one (apart from me) would use them - "Oh, I don't want to upset customers". As they were only advisory notices, the regular offenders would just throw them down on the ground - knowing that nothing would be done. Until blue badge holders and "parent and child" drivers make sufficient complaints to store managers, nothing will be done.

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    The original Victor Meldrew

    Friday, January 25, 2013

  • This goes on all the time in stowmarket as they have no traffic wardens and the police turn a blind eye to it all and everyone there knows it which is why it continues,appalling behaviour on both sides.

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    minimat

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • grasp the opportunity for equal rights and treatment. Be rid of all disabled parking bays and fight for an overpriced spot to park like the rest of the population. You can not demand to be treated equally and the same as everyone else, then demand special treatment when it suits.

    Report this comment

    Fat Lady Sings

    Friday, January 25, 2013

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