A woman in York has pleaded guilty to misusing a relative’s disabled badge to illegally park in York city centre.

The case was referred to Veritau in June 2019 by a member of City of York Council’s parking team who spotted a van parked on double yellow lines at Castlegate, displaying a blue badge. Veritau investigated the case and found that the driver had used the Blue Badge to park illegally.

Blue Badges make it easier for people to travel and maintain independence. However they are open to abuse. With a Blue Badge, people may park in certain locations, for example on double yellow lines or in disabled spaces. However, these benefits are only intended for the person who has the badge (the ‘badge holder’), or someone who is transporting them in that moment.

The badge holder must be either in the vehicle when it is parked, or in the vehicle when it leaves the location it was parked in. If a person drops the badge holder off and then goes to park elsewhere, the badge cannot be used. If someone is picking up a badge holder, then they can only use the badge to park in the place where they are picking them up. A Blue Badge cannot be used without the badge holder, even if errands are being run for them.

The driver in question had already received a warning from the council about Blue Badge misuse, in 2017. The previous misuse of the badge was a factor in the Council deciding to seek a prosecution in this case. 

The driver pleaded guilty by post and was sentenced in York Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 17 December 2019. She received a fine and was ordered to pay court costs and a victim surcharge, totalling £499.

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