Ealing Council is reminding drivers that it is an offence to park in a disabled parking bay without a valid blue badge, including council-installed bays on residential streets.
There are 1100 disabled parking bays in the borough and more than 890 penalty charge notices (PCNs) were issued to drivers parking illegally in them in the last financial year. PCNs are charged at £110, reduced to £55 if paid within 14 days.
Residents that meet a set of strict criteria can apply to have a disabled bay installed close to their home. Applicants must be able to demonstrate an exceptional need for the bay or have severe difficulty in walking. Anyone with a blue badge can park in these spaces.
Ealing staff regularly patrol the borough’s streets checking that cars are parked legally, but residents who find their disabled bay blocked by cars without a valid blue badge can call Ealing’s parking service and ask them to send a civil enforcement officer. The officer will come as quickly as possible, check the badge and issue a ticket, if necessary.
Patrick Greene is a Hanwell resident. His mother has a council-installed bay outside his home, but is often not able to make use of it, because drivers without blue badges have parked their cars in it.
He said: “It is so annoying, and makes my mum’s life so difficult. If these people realised how much inconvenience they were causing someone with a disability, I wonder if they’d stop doing it.”
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for Environment and Customer Services, said: “Disabled parking bays are installed when residents have exceptional need for a dedicated space near their home. Anyone with a blue badge can park in these spaces, but other drivers must park elsewhere, even if that means they have to park further away from their home.
“People who have been allocated these spaces find it very difficult to go about their daily business at the best of times. When drivers selfishly block these bays they make it even harder for them. Our staff are on the look-out for drivers who park illegally and will also respond quickly to tip-offs from the public.”
To report a car parked illegally in a disabled bay, call 020 8825 6677 between 9am and 5pm and 020 8825 5000 outside of these hours.
For more information on disabled parking, go to www.ealing.gov.uk/parking.