Enforcement officers will be monitoring disabled bays across Stirling closely over the coming months as part of the clampdown, while the local authority’s social media channels will raise awareness on the issue.
Convener of Stirling Council’s Environment and Housing Committee, Cllr Jim Thomson said: “It is completely unacceptable that a small minority of drivers continue to act this way with no consideration to disabled people.
“Parking in a bay designed for Blue Badge holders prevents them from carrying out day-to-day activities, accessing essential services and living independent lives.
“This campaign will demonstrate our zero-tolerance to this kind of selfish behaviour and highlight why these spaces are vital for disabled drivers.”
Lack of understanding
The move has been backed by the Stirling Area Access Panel (SAAP), a local organisation who work to improve the local accessible environment.
Chair of SAAP, Robert Dick, said: “We fully support the Council enforcing Blue Badge parking as, routinely, it is blatantly abused by other motorists, particularly in off-street locations like supermarkets, schools and railway stations.
“There seems to be a lack of understanding of the importance of disabled parking for people with disabilities, and parking near to an entrance can make the difference between whether a disabled driver or passenger is able to shop, and access services, or not.”
Motorists in Stirling who don’t adhere to the Council’s parking restrictions are issued with a standard fine of £60.
Not a luxury
Vice Convener of the Committee, Cllr Danny Gibson, said: “Being able to use a blue badge bay is a necessity for disabled people, not a luxury, and inconsiderate parking in these spaces can make their daily life incredibly challenging.
“This campaign will give us a fresh opportunity to hammer home this important message to the public across Stirling and step up our enforcement activity for those who continue to break the rules.”
It comes as figures from the same period in 2019 show that over 1,200 penalty notices were issued by the local authority to drivers for parking in loading bays, an action that can significantly disrupt businesses who rely on the spaces.
Cllr Gibson added: “Cars parking in loading bays can negatively impact our businesses’ ability to send and receive goods, damaging the local economy, along with having serious safety implications. We will also be taking a tough stance against these offenders.”
Pictured in a disabled parking bay outside The PEAK sports and leisure centre are (from left): Cllr Jim Thomson; Isabella Gorska, a Trustee of the Stirling Area Access Panel; and Cllr Danny Gibson.