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MSPs back moves to tackle abuse of blue badges

New measures aimed at cracking down on abuse of the blue badge parking scheme for the disabled has been backed by a Holyrood committee.

SNP backbencher Dennis Robertson has put forward plans to strengthen enforcement of the scheme, which provides parking concessions for people with restricted mobility and who find using public transport difficult.

The changes outlined in his member's bill aim to give police and local councils further powers to enforce the blue badge scheme, including the ability to cancel or confiscate a badge in certain circumstances.

If passed, the Disabled Person's Parking Badges (Scotland) Bill would also make it an offence to drive a vehicle while displaying a blue badge which has already been cancelled, bringing Scotland in line with England and Wales.

MSPs on the Scottish Parliament's Local Government and Regeneration Committee described the change as "necessary, proportionate and appropriate".

Figures from 2012 showed there were some 263,000 blue badges on issue in Scotland, with the committee hearing that without them "many disabled persons would be confined to their home". But a report on the bill said there was a "substantial problem" with abuse of the scheme "which impacts adversely on people's lives".

Tackling misuse of blue badges could help "free up parking spaces for those entitled," the MSPs said.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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