Letters: Mike Larcey, January 17, 2017

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Due to flagrant misuse of the Blue Badge and the use of Blue Badge-only parking spaces, it is time for a radical rethink.

The purpose of these facilities is to enable access for people with severe mobility problems or severe illnesses restricting mobility to ordinary living. Without these facilities, persons with such disabilities would be isolated. Now it seems anyone with a slight mobility problem see themselves as requiring a Blue Badge and the need of extra wide parking spaces. Most people with a light mobility problem probably could benefit by walking a bit further to a shop or other places to maintain mobility and keep weight down. The extra wide parking spaces are for those who need to open their doors to the full. The same could be said of the parent/child spaces which should be reserved for those parents struggling with buggies and children’s car seats.

One practice in some boroughs is to introduce an inspector who can challenge the use of Blue Badges. However, I think a more radical approach is needed. They should be issued on a graded basis to be decided by professionals and campaigners and applications should go through an independent board including, anonymously, a doctor/consultant, physiotherapist and social worker and a campaigner. Also, anyone found misusing the badge or the extra wide parking space should have a penalty of a fine or community service and points on their driving licence.

To some people this issue seems to be a trivial matter, but how would they view it if they were locked in their homes without being able to go out to work, to shop, to socialise, or for entertainment? I imagine they would be knocking on the doors of the European Court of Human Rights and shouting ‘abuse’.

Mike Larcey

Downham