Fife's Blue Badge backlog sparks fears of penalties if caught using expired passes

Disabled Fifers are using Blue Badges which have expired because Fife Council is facing a backlog of applications.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 1:13 pm

But the local authority has assured them they won’t be penalised – provided they can prove they have applied to renew their pass.

The backlog built up during the pandemic, and sparked fears among some users they may be hit with penalties.

Blue Badges allow them to park in High Streets’ pedestrianised zones at specific times, and offers concessions elsewhere to allow holders with a disability to lead independent lives.

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Blue badge user Elizabeth Drummond with Cllr Zoe Hisbent.

The re-assurance as the backlog is cleared came from Kirkcaldy councillor, Zoe Hisbent.

She said: “I was extremely concerned to learn that some elderly residents awaiting renewal of their badge were not using it for fear of breaking parking regulations.

"I raised it immediately with the accessible travel team and received reassurance from them that, in instances where a badge has expired within the last four weeks, the holder will not receive a parking ticket.”

Cllr Hisbent added: “If a badge has been expired for longer than four weeks then a parking ticket may be issued – but all ticket holders have the right to appeal, and if they do, and it can be shown that the badge holder has already applied to renew their badge then the appeal will be upheld.”

While the local authority works to clear the backlog, she assured worried residents that they would be treated fairly.

She added: “Officers are working to ensure that those who have reapplied, timeously, will not be penalised for the current longer application processing times and I’m pleased to see the continuing dialogue between the teams in accessible travel services and parking enforcement to ensure badge holders are treated fairly during this time.

“Blue Badges are a lifeline for many people, preventing a life of isolation by giving the freedom and confidence to live an independent life.

"It is only right that the current delays in processing applications do not adversely affect disabled people and stop them from living their life.

“If anyone has been waiting for period longer than 12 weeks, then they should contact [email protected].”

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