One of our members who recently moved to Dorset to live and was caught out by North Dorset’s ruling that blue badge holders can only park free of charge in disabled bays in its car park has challenged the ruling with the authority.
Two other Blue Badge users have challenged the penalty notices they recently received for using disabled bays for longer than the permitted three free hours while they went on a coach trip, and purchasing all day tickets in addition to displaying their Blue Badges.
John Colgan, who has challenged the disabled bay only ruling, said he initially did not notice that the information in small print on the car park signs included the words ‘in disabled bays’, and it was only afterwards that he realised that the word ‘disabled’ had been added later over the word ‘designated’, suggesting that in the past the disabled were allowed to park in standard bays.
“This is the case in most other local authorities as there are never enough disabled bays for all disabled users.
“The nearest Disabled Bays were approx 75 yards from where we parked. There were some double yellow lines much closer, on the street next to the car park. We could have parked there with the safety of the Blue Badge to not receive a parking ticket!
“Does North Dorset not know that the extra distance to walk to/from a Disabled bay is beyond the capabilities of most disabled people that qualify for a Blue Badge?”
He asked for copy of the traffic order and committee minutes making it an offence to use Blue Badges in a non-
He was told that the order was agreed by Cabinet in September 2011, and that the concession of three hours free parking was more than that offered by other authorities in Dorset.
The wording was changed because there had been misunderstandings of the meaning of ‘designated bay’ which was intended to mean bays designated for the disabled.
Mr Colgan said: “The council did give the information that a further review is under way, so I recommend that all drivers with an interest in disability rights re the use of Blue Badges should contact their councillor to give their views.”
Reading the small print