Don't let your blue badge expire, warns driver caught after council stopped sending reminders (From Thisisdorset)
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Don't let your blue badge expire, warns driver caught after council stopped sending reminders
7:00am Wednesday 16th January 2013 in Latest
A DISABLED motorist fined because her blue badge had expired 10 days previously is waging a one-woman campaign to warn others.
Bernadine Wembridge, who has chronic rheumatoid arthritis and has had a blue badge for 17 years, used to receive a renewal reminder from Bournemouth council every three years.
But she was unaware Bournemouth council had stopped issuing reminders to residents and only realised her blue badge had expired when she parked in a disabled bay at Castlepoint and received a £60 fine.
Mrs Wembridge, of Broughton Close in Redhill, had the fine reduced to a £10 administration fee but is so concerned other drivers will be expecting a council reminder that she has designed posters to display in her local shops.
“She also has a sign in her car warning other blue badge holders to check their expiry dates.
She said: “Nobody at the council made any effort at all to warn us the system was changing and we would no longer get a reminder.
“We are sent reminders for car tax, insurance and everything else. You only renew your blue badge every three years. I’m sure plenty of people rely on a reminder to tell them when it needs renewing.
“I feel the council has let us down badly.”
Stuart Walters, customer services manager at Bournemouth council, said: “From January 1 2012 the blue badge parking scheme transferred to one central company appointed by government who are responsible for producing and distributing all blue badges.
“Bournemouth residents can continue to apply and renew their badge by contacting the council directly. The council no longer issues renewal reminders. However, residents are advised to note when their badge is due to expire and submit a renewal application at least four weeks before the expiry date.”
A spokesperson for Devere parking services said: “As I understand it, very few councils still issue reminders so it is incumbent on blue badge holders to check it is still in date.
“We try to run our business in a fair manner and, in this case, we reduced the fine to a small £10 administration fee,” the spokseman added.