Drivers pay millions of pounds each year in parking fees in the UK for a number of parking violations. Drivers who park in disabled bays without the proper authorisation are also liable for fines but more serious fines can be applied for those who use Blue Badge illegally.
Illegal Parking in the UK
Motorists across the UK do pay out millions every year in illegal Parking Fines and the parking industry itself is a multi-million pound business. Parking spots in the UK are usually controlled by local authorities. Most drivers who park illegally will, if caught, be fined between £40 and £80. The fine can usually be decreased by 50% if paid within a two week period. Local authorities do have the power to increase fines as they see fit much to the dismay of motorists. Many authorities are taking a tougher view on motorists who do park illegally in disabled parking bays.
Illegal Parking in Disabled Bays
Most drivers will respect the rules of not parking in disabled bays without legitimate reasons. But there are many people who will simply disregard disabled parking signs and park illegally. Drivers who do park in disabled parking bays who are not Blue Badge holders will be liable to a Penalty Charge Notice, which means a fine. The Blue Badge scheme was set up to allow people with mobility problems to park as close as possible to their intended destination. Blue Badge drivers are permitted to park for free on on-street parking spaces but there are set time limits that must be adhered to.
Disabled Parking in Scotland
Scotland has recently introduced the £60 penalty fine for drivers who park illegally in disabled bays. Before this legislation was introduced in 2009 parking in disabled bays in Scotland was not against the law. Around 85% of the disabled parking spots in Scotland were advisory spaces. Advisory parking meant that anyone could park in disabled parking spots without running the risk of receiving a parking fine. The new penalties now include advisory spaces and disabled parking spaces set up outside disabled people’s homes.
Blue Badge Fraud and Illegal Parking
It may seem incredible but drivers do resort to fraud and risk large fines simply to park for free in disabled parking bays. Police forces in cities and towns across the UK have become aware of a massive amount of Blue Badge fraud. A police force in Harrow found that within a six-hour time period 16 of 32 drivers checked were abusing the Blue Badge scheme. Fraudulent use of the disabled Blue Badge is a criminal offence. If any driver is caught committing this type of fraud they can be prosecuted and fined up to £1000.
Penalty Charge Notices and Illegal Parking
Apart from disabled parking spots there are number of different parking spots that can lead to penalties, these will include:
- Double yellow lines mean there is no parking at any time
- Single yellow lines means no parking within the hours specified on parking signs
- Disc zones where parking discs must be displayed
- Pay and display car parks where parking fees must be paid
- Loading bays with indicated parking hours
- Schools with keep clear markings
- Bus lanes and clearways with indicated hours
- Parking schemes for residents only; drivers must have legitimate residents parking permits
It is possible to Appeal Against Parking Fines under certain circumstances. A great number of people never bother to appeal against a parking ticket but the fact is that those who do are more often successful than not. Around eight million parking tickets in the UK are issued each year. Of these eight million, only a few thousand drivers appeal and 65% of these appeals end up in the driver’s favour. Drivers do have rights and should assert these rights if they think they have been unfairly fined.
Disclaimer: The information in the article is for general purpose information only and should not be constituted as legal advice. This article has been produced by a third party and Jardine Motors does not take any responsibility for the completeness, accuracy, or reliability with respect to the website or the information provided. Article last updated March 2016.