Illegal Hastings and St Leonards blue badge users fined

East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police and NSL carried out a day of checks on Blue Badges
East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police and NSL carried out a day of checks on Blue Badges

A motorist who used her dead mother’s blue badge and another who altered her permit’s expiry date have been fined more than £1,000.

Beverley Bryant, of Georgian Walk, St Leonards, and Nicola Pantry, of Hestingas Plat, Ebernezer Road, were caught by enforcement officers working on behalf of East Sussex County Council during regular checks.

The pair both pleaded guilty to the offences at Eastbourne Magistrates Court on Friday, August 7.

Ms Bryant, 55, was fined £250, made to pay a £25 victim surcharge, and pay costs totalling £491 after being found using her dead mother’s permit.

Mrs Pantry was found to have altered the expiry date on her Blue Badge from 2014 to 2016.

The 48-year-old was fined £120, made to pay a £20 victim surcharge and pay costs of £150.

“These latest prosecutions send a clear message to those motorists who continue to fraudulently use a blue badge,” said the county council’s lead member for transport and environment Carl Maynard.

“We will not hesitate to bring to justice those people who continue to commit these crimes and abuse the system.

“This is not a victimless crime. These motorists are using spaces required by people who have a genuine need – those who have severe mobility problems or are registered blind.

“Every fraudulent blue badge is also costing the taxpayer up to £5,000 in lost parking revenue and the cost of installing more disabled bays.”

In December last year, the county council teamed up with Brighton and Hove City Council and Sussex Police to launch Operation Bluebird, an initiative to crackdown on the misuse of blue badges.

Government funding enabled the partners to invest in dedicated officers to investigate and take action over the illegal use of blue badges.

In June, the county council offered motorists in possession of fraudulent blue badges the chance to hand them over and avoid further action as part of an amnesty – 36 permits were surrendered.

“We have given people every opportunity to hand in any illegally held blue badges,” cllr Maynard said.

“We will continue to carry out regular checks on drivers using these permits and will take action against those who continue to flout the law.”

Members of the public can report the misuse of blue badges by calling 01323 464244 or emailing badgefraud@eastsussex.gov.uk.

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