Disabled parking space abuse widespread in the UK, according to new report | Industry - Car News Oct 2021

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16:54 Tuesday 12 Oct 2021

Supermarkets and local councils are being urged to do more to enforce disabled parking spaces, after a report uncovered widespread abuse.

DMUK (Disabled Motoring UK) asked disabled motorists to complete a survey about their parking experiences over the past 12 months. Of the 853 who completed the survey, 88.7% of respondents said that they saw the misuse of disabled parking spaces ‘often’ or ‘very often’ on a daily basis.

DMUK has labelled this figure as alarming and says it shows that the wider parking industry is not doing enough to enforce disabled parking provisions.

Around eight out of 10 (79.5%) of the respondents stated that it was either difficult or very difficult to find suitable disabled parking, while 85.3% had never had their Blue Badge inspected by an official. 

This means that out of a total of 853 respondents only 125 people have ever had their Blue Badge inspected. Unsurprisingly, 95.2% of those who responded would like to see Blue Badges being inspected by officials more often. 

When it comes to finding suitable disabled parking bays at supermarkets, 41.9% of those surveyed said that it was ‘easy’ and 10% said it was ‘very easy’. However, 56.5% of respondents also stated that they ‘very often’ see disabled parking bays being abused. This figure has risen 5% from the DMUK survey last year, suggesting that disabled bay abuse at supermarkets is getting worse. 

When it comes to disabled parking space enforcement at supermarkets, only 35.5% of respondents said that they either saw signage or someone monitoring the bays. Worryingly, 90% of those who took part in the survey said supermarket staff took no action to act when disabled parking abuse was reported to the store in question. 

Commenting on the results of the survey, DMUK CEO Graham Footer said: “The results show that the parking industry and local authorities still aren’t doing nearly enough to support disabled people.

"Accessibility begins in the car parks and disabled bay enforcement is a crucial part of allowing disabled people to live independent lives. DMUK urges everyone in the parking sector to take this issue seriously.”

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