Thousands of drivers have been parking illegally in spaces reserved for disabled motorists, The Scarborough News can reveal.
Information obtained by the paper shows Scarborough Council fined 5,525 motorists since 2007 for parking in disabled spaces.
A leading member of the Scarborough Disablement Action Group has slammed the drivers responsible for the “high” figures.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Tim Vasey said: “Firstly, I’m very surprised by how high these are, but secondly, at least they show that the wardens are doing a good job of policing these drivers. We take a very dim view of this though, as it’s depriving a legitimately disabled person from having space that they rely on and need.”
He added that many disabled often have to scrap their plans and cancel trips out if no space is available to them, such is their importance.
And Mr added that with disability in the national limelight due to the start of the Paralympic Games, he feels this is the perfect time to highlight the problems faced by disabled people on a daily basis.
He said: “In this country, disabled people are still struggling to be accepted by the community, because of issues like benefits. In reality, they face rigorous tests to get a blue badge,’ adding that many often have to carry out a walking tests to prove their need for the permit.
And he added: “The parking space s are something that they can take as their own, that are just being abused by others.
“People often just don’t realise how hard it can be for disabled drivers.”
The figures, from Scarborough Council, show that between 2007 and 2011, the authority raked in £107,836 from drivers who had parked in disabled bays illegally.
Stuart Clark, Scarborough Borough Council’s Parking Manager said: “We take the abuse of disabled parking bays seriously because it prevents customers with genuine needs from being able to park close to where they need to be and can discourage them from visiting our towns and villages.”