Welcome to Milton Keynes the city of selfish parkers
More than 3,700 motorists in MK were fined for flagrantly misusing disabled parking bays last year.
But the maximum they had to pay was £70 – a sum that is far too low, according to city Alderman Paul Bartlett.
He wants able-bodied people who park in blue badge bays to be fined at least £400, with no right of appeal for the culprit.
“I have heard every excuse going, but there is simply never an excuse or reason for a non-disabled person to park in a designated space meant for those officially deemed to need a blue badge,” he said.
“Abusing a blue badge space is equivalent to abusing a disabled person. It could be classed as a selfish hate crime,” he added.
The most regular locations for abuse are outside cash machines, banks, post offices, and shops.
MK Theatre is a hotspot for disabled bay misuse as are, ironically, the bays outside council’s civic offices.
Paul, who was a Tory councillor for many years, wrote to MK Council asking for the misuse statistics and suggesting the fine be raised as a deterrent.
The council explained the levels of fines are set by central government and the maximum possible charge is £70.
“The income is ring-fenced and must be re-invested in transport,” said a spokesman.
He added: “We undertake very thorough blue badge enforcement and last year issued 3,736 fines for this.”
The sum represents more than 10 per cent of total penalties issued for all parking contraventions.