England's blue badge prosecution hotspots
Within the last three years, England has seen 3,559 prosecutions for the misuse of Blue Badges and only 171 offences were from the badge holders themselves.
Holding a Blue Badge helps you to park closer to your destination if you’re disabled, allowing access to disabled bays and the permission to park on yellow lines. However, our research reveals there is regular abuse of Blue Badges and between 2019 and 2021 there were 3,496 prosecutions for non-badge holders illegally using another's Blue Badge.
Over 2,000 drivers in London were prosecuted for breaking Blue Badge rules
With an average of 2.3 million valid Blue Badge holders per year across England, which cities see the most Blue Badge prosecutions?
The capital, London (2,192) ranks as the city with the most Blue Badge prosecutions, followed by Birmingham (224) and Leeds (149) between the years 2019 and 2021. In fact, London had nearly 2,000 more prosecutions than any other English city in the research.
Motorists in Bristol (0), Bournemouth (0) and Hull (0) received the least number of prosecutions for Blue Badge misuse between 2019 and 2021, followed closely by Southampton (1) and Luton (3).
London borough Lambeth has received the most Blue Badge prosecutions
According to our research 2,140 out of 2,192 prosecutions in London were from non-badge holders illegally using another’s Blue Badge, with only 19 prosecutions against the Blue Badge holder themselves.
When looking at London specifically, boroughs Lambeth (359), Hammersmith & Fulham (335) and Bromley (200) have received the most prosecutions in the last three years for misusing a Blue Badge.
|Top 5 locations||Number of all prosecutions for the abuse of Blue Badges||Bottom 5 locations||Number of prosecutions for the abuse of Blue Badges|
|Hammersmith & Fulham||335||Hounslow||0|
|Bromley||200||Richmond upon Thames||0|
|Kensington and Chelsea||158||Kingston upon Thames||1|
In contrast, three of the capital's boroughs, Havering, Hounslow and Richmond upon Thames did not see any prosecutions for the abuse of Blue Badges in the last three years, whilst Hillingdon and Kingston upon Thames each saw just one prosecution during this time.
One in three (31%) 17-24-year-olds have broken Blue Badge regulations
Based on a survey of 2,000 British motorists, the research revealed that 17-24-year-olds are most likely to illegally use a friend or family member’s Blue Badge (31%) and more than one in ten (13%) have forged or used a stolen Blue Badge (12%).
The survey also revealed that motorists ages 55+ are least likely to misuse a Blue Badge, with 94% claiming they have never illegally used a family or friends’ Blue Badge.
How to avoid Blue Badge prosecutions
To avoid potentially being fined up to £1,000 and risking confiscation of your Blue Badge due to misuse, there are certain rules and regulations both Blue Badge holders and non-holders should follow. Some of the key rules include:
- Your Blue Badge should only be used when the holder is in the vehicle as either a driver or passenger.
- The badge should be displayed clearly from the outside of the car. The dashboard is often the best place for this with the holographic side up.
- When your badge becomes worn and unable to read you should replace it.
- When parking on yellow lines or restricted parking, your blue badge clock should be visible from the outside of your car, along with your badge.
- An officer can request to see the badge at any time, so ensure it is always with you when driving and parking.
- The badge should not be used so that non-badge holders can benefit while the holder sits in the car.
Government data from 2019-2021 was used to determine the English cities and London boroughs most likely to be prosecuted for the misuse of blue badges. When looking at the source, table dis0301 was used across each data set and we combined the data from the past three years to give us the total number of prosecutions from each location.
To find the number of UK blue badges government data was used (2021) using Table dis0101.
The age statistics were determined through a survey conducted of 2016 UK drivers (aged 17+) 04/02/2022 - 08/02/2022.
Misuse of Blue Badge penalty details gathered from government website.