Local Authorities are being urged to reduce fraud and the unfair use of disabled parking spaces by taking advantage of a database which contains the details of all Blue Badge users in the UK.
The Transport Technology Forum’s Parking Working Group has heard how the system is available to all authorities with an Application Programming Interface (API) to integrate with their own enforcement systems.
The Working Group was told by enforcement expert Tom Gallagher of Lambeth Council in London that Councils have lacked all the tools they might want to assist with enforcement around Blue Badge usage. This has created a double challenge for them, with disabled drivers unable to use spaces allocated for them, while costing councils money in lost parking revenue.
Mr Gallagher explained that help is at hand thanks to recent changes to the online Blue Badge database, allowing any council to access records on who should be using a badge. “Until earlier this year, that system was only available for direct fraud investigators and blue badge teams within councils,” he said, “But now the Department of Transport has added a new level of user access called Enforcement Officer View meaning that, for the first time, on-street enforcement officers can access the system on a handheld device in real time and see whether the badge is valid for use or reported lost or stolen.
“There is no reason why you couldn’t be detecting hundreds of offenders each year.”
The Working Group also heard how a new Persistent Evaders Database is now complete and about to be launched, detailing those small percentage of people responsible for a huge proportion of offences, and identifying offending vehicles used by the most persistent and/or highest risk offenders. This should increase opportunities for high-risk persistent offending vehicle use to be eliminated in the most efficient and effective manner.
Members were also shown details on the latest automated valet parking technology from Bosch, updated on kerbside management technology and invited to apply to be part of the National Parking Platform pilot.
(Picture – Highways News)