Number of blue badge holders falls

PUBLISHED: 14:00 06 January 2019

Archant

There is a higher proportion of blue disabled badges in operation in North Somerset, according to new figures from the Department for Transport.

More than one in 20 people living in the district has a badge which gives them the right to park in disabled spaces or stay in on-street spaces for any length of time.

The national rate is 4.2 per cent, but in North Somerset is higher at 5.6 per cent.

Despite the above average figure, the number of badges in operation has dropped in the past 12 months.

There are 12,202 registered with a badge in North Somerset – 129 fewer than in 2017.

North Somerset Council continues to monitor misuse of blue badges and three people were taken to court for abusing the system at the end of November.

Kamran Mallick, chief executive of Disability Rights UK said a difference in blue badge usage across the country was partly the result of the availability of accessible public transport.

He said: “The scheme is an important and essential part of ensuring that we, disabled people, can participate and live our lives in society.

“With public transport not universally accessible the use of a car is essential for many. Being able to park closer to the destination is essential for badge holders and can mean the difference between going out or not.”

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