0207 370 0027 info@bbfi.org.uk

Baywatch Results 2020 – Levels of disabled parking abuse are alarming!

The team at BBFI know the difference that enforcing the blue badge scheme can make to communities and we were delighted to sponsor the latest DMUK Baywatch Campaign. Gathering insight from those that are experiencing difficulties on a daily basis is invaluable and it is even more encouraging to see that that this year’s campaign had the highest number of responses they have ever seen, with 777 people taking part.

Asking the public to complete an at home survey allowed for the expansion of the scope of the campaign to other parking settings and therefore their more general parking experiences, which BBFI know all to well from working with local authorities and seeing the frustrations that blue badge misuse creates.

DMUK stated that one of the most alarming statistics that came from the survey results was that 95.6% of participants did not think that local authorities were doing enough to tackle Blue Badge abuse. This is a very high percentage, but not at all surprising to DMUK. Every year the ‘Blue Badge Statistics’ are released and every year the number of local authorities actually prosecuting Blue Badge fraud is disappointingly low. The Baywatch Campaign also showed that only 20.8% of Blue Badge holders had ever been asked to have their Blue Badge inspected by an official and that 96.4% of participants supported more inspections of Blue Badges.

As this year was a wider survey, participants were also asked about their everyday journeys with 74.8% of respondent saying that finding suitable disabled parking was either ‘Difficult’ or ‘Very Difficult’. With an estimate 1 in 5 badges being misused and being used by someone other than the badge holder, these results are disheartening but maybe not unexpected.


Pie cahrt showing results of Baywatch 2020


Paul Slowey the Director of BBFI said: “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ground-breaking Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970, which introduced disability parking permits the scheme is clearly still not enforced, only 1 in 5 people have had a badge checked. This shows a shocking disregard for protecting the rights of disabled motorists by Local Authorities who 95% of disabled drivers say are not doing enough. Where the few have chosen to protect the rights of disabled motorists and enforce the scheme compliance with the law is very high. The reality is that enforcing the scheme works”.

The survey shows that disabled people are being disadvantaged and prevented from living independent lives and that the Coronavirus pandemic is having a further effect.  Up to 65.8% of respondents answered yes to the question, whether due to the COVID-19 pandemic they had they seen disabled bays being removed (to allow for socially distanced queuing).

Graham Footer, CEO at DMUK said: “DMUK is delighted with the level of support it has received for this year’s Baywatch campaign. However, we are very concerned about the levels of disabled parking abuse in all parking settings. The parking industry and local authorities all need to do more to support disabled people. Accessibility starts in the car park and without proper parking provision and enforcement of disabled parking, disabled people find it increasingly difficult to live independent lives. DMUK demands that this issue is taken seriously”.

BBFI do take these issues seriously and strongly believe that by continuing to work with local authorities and investigating those suspected of misuse, and preparing cases for court and prosecution, we can continue deter misuse and enforce the scheme nationwide.

Read more here.

For more information go to www.bbfi.org.uk or contact the BBFI team info@bbfi.org.uk or 0207 370 0027.