Amnesty for illegal disabled parking badges

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Motorists illegally using blue badges to park in disabled bays will have the chance to hand over permits in a county-wide amnesty.

The amnesty will take place next month, giving Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford drivers a chance to escape further action. This move follows a recent crackdown on the illegal use of blue badges and is part of Operation Bluebird, a joint initiative between East Sussex County Council, Brighton and Hove City Council and Sussex Police to tackle the issue.

Anyone fraudulently using a blue badge can hand the permit over at a number of locations across the county between Monday, June 8 and Monday, June 22. These include libraries, parking shops and county council offices.

These include Parking Information Centre, Gildredge Road, Eastbourne; St Mary’s House, Eastbourne; Eastbourne Library, Grove Road; Seaford Library, Sutton Park Road; Hailsham Library, Western Road.

Cllr Carl Maynard, East Sussex County Council’s lead member for transport and environment, said, “By using blue badges illegally, motorists are making life extremely difficult for those who have a genuine need for the permit.

“As well as the problems being caused for drivers with disabilities, the use of each fraudulent badge is costing the taxpayer as much as £5,000 – this is due to the need to install more disabled bays and lost revenue from parking charges.

I would urge those illegally using a blue badge to do the right thing and take full advantage of the amnesty. For those who continue to use the permit fraudulently, we will take action.”

The government has given £183,000 to Operation Bluebird and this money has enabled the recruitment of blue badge fraud investigation officers operating across East Sussex and Brighton & Hove to improve detection and share intelligence

“We have already seen great results from our efforts, with a number of convictions and the confiscation of Blue Badges that were being used fraudulently,” Cllr Maynard added.

“We will continue to crackdown on those breaking the law, but want to offer people the opportunity to take advantage of the amnesty, hand over permits they are not entitled to use and avoid the repercussions.”

Operation Bluebird will continue over the next two years and members of the public are being encouraged to report the misuse of Blue Badges by calling 01323 464244 or emailing badgefraud@eastsussex.gov.uk

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