19 December 2013

Disabled Parking is a minefield across London

Mr Mustard has to check this post in respect of the rules about paid for parking bays, as apart from the blue area above, he thinks that blue badge holders can park for free in those bays and he has put that in some boroughs you can't. He probably put "no" if he couldn't find "yes" on the relevant council website but forgot that the blue badge scheme sets the rules and says you can park for free unless time is limited for non disabled motorists and then time can be limited for blue badge holders. Parking is far too complicated. (10 December 2014)

Mr Mustard has a friend with a blue badge who tries very hard to avoid parking tickets. She thinks about what he has said every time she goes out and parks. He instructed her clearly about how to park properly in Barnet but then she went to Southwark, parked in a residents bay which is perfectly permissible in Barnet, but not in Southwark and got a PCN. How would one know this?

Mr Mustard thought he had better check the whole of London for her. He looked on the London Councils website but that didn't easily give him the answer. He could buy a copy of a guide from this website but it is probably out of date by now.

The map above, which comes from a joint website by the 4 authorities concerned, tells us where the rules are stricter than is the norm but nothing seems to tell us where there are helpful concessions so Mr Mustard burnt yesterday afternoon in trying to find out. He painfully looked through 30+ council websites and has probably got some of it wrong, due to difficulties encountered in actually finding what he was looking for, so please check in advance of your visit by phoning the local authority which you are going to visit  rather than relying 100% on what Mr Mustard has put up in good faith (there may also be local signs which assist you in car parks for example, or on meters in the street which halfway through the small print may mention the disabled). If any reader spots errors for their borough do please send an email to mrmustard@zoho.com

Free parking for blue badge holders?

Single Double Residents Pay by phone Shared Car

yellow * yellow * bay Pay & display*** use bays parks ~
Barking & Dagenham 3 hours 3 hours no no no some
Barnet 3 hours 3 hours yes yes@ yes yes
Bexley 3 hours 3 hours no no no no
Brent 3 hours 3 hours no yes no no
Bromley 3 hours 3 hours no yes no yes
Camden some (**) some (**) some (**) some (**) no no
City of London no no no no no no
Croydon 3 hours 3 hours no yes yes no
Ealing 3 hours 3 hours no yes no no
Enfield 3 hours 3 hours yes no no yes
Greenwich 3 hours 3 hours no yes no yes
Hackney 3 hours 3 hours no yes yes yes
Hammersmith & Fulham 3 hours 3 hours no no yes no
Haringey 3 hours 3 hours no no no no
Harrow 3 hours 3 hours Harrow BB only yes no most
Havering 3 hours 3 hours no yes no no
Hillingdon 3 hours 3 hours yes yes possibly yes
Hounslow 3 hours 3 hours usually usually usually yes
Islington 3 hours 3 hours yes yes possibly n/a
Kensington & Chelsea 20 mins 20 mins no no no no
Kingston 3 hours 3 hours no no no no
Lambeth 3 hours 3 hours yes yes possibly yes
Lewisham 3 hours 3 hours yes yes yes no
Merton 3 hours 3 hours yes yes possibly no
Newham 3 hours 3 hours yes yes no no
Redbridge 3 hours 3 hours no yes no yes
Richmond 3 hours 3 hours yes yes possibly yes
Southwark 3 hours 3 hours no yes yes no
Sutton 3 hours 3 hours no yes no yes
Tower Hamlets 3 hours 3 hours no yes yes n/k
Waltham Forest 3 hours 3 hours n/k n/k n/k free
Wandsworth 3 hours 3 hours yes yes yes yes
Westminster no no no no no no

~ except in disabled spaces that are marked as free

* unless there is a loading restriction in which case do not park there.

** you cannot park for free in the green zone

*** you get one hour free in addition to paid for time

So you can see what a complex situation it is. Mr Mustard wanted to put up a simple table with yes/no answers but that simply isn't possible. Barnet are generous to the disabled (although will happily give you a parking ticket if you transgress in any way) as are Wandsworth, with Lewisham and Hillingdon not far behind. In Central London the disabled have to compete for a limited number of designated bays and given the problem with step free access on most of the tube network (a mere 66 tube stations are step free) that is the very area where more spaces are needed, especially near hospitals.

The main thing that Mr Mustard learnt, after what a morass disabled parking provision is, was that if you pay for, say, 2 hours parking, you get given 3 as a blue badge holder (it won't be on the pay-and-display ticket but the traffic warden should know not to issue a PCN). This may help you with your appeal if you have a PCN for having gone over the paid for time and your blue badge was on display.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

@ It has been brought to Mr Mustard's attention that in Edgware new signs were installed in December which limit parking for blue badge holders in pay to park bays to a maximum of 3 hours. It isn't like that in Mill Hill or High Barnet. There are, Mr Mustard is told, only 3 dedicated disabled parking bays in Edgware so this new policy makes life difficult for blue badge holders who have to travel into London for a hospital appointment, but cannot walk very far, and need to use Edgware tube station.

Is blue badge time in pay to park bays limited in this way in your part of the borough?

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