Baywatch Campaign 2019 – The Results Are In

9. September 2019

Disabled Motoring UK’s (DMUK) Baywatch campaign, a crusade aimed at cracking down on Blue Badge abuse, has finished for another year.  The results are in and it makes for concerning reading.

People Power

Over the last few months, members of the public have been asked to turn detective by visiting their local supermarkets and assessing the parking available for Blue Badge holders.  Over 700 participants evaluated several factors including the number of disabled bays offered by the supermarket and how many drivers without Blue Badges were using spaces reserved for disabled motorists.  The amateur sleuths were then asked to report their findings back to DMUK.

“It’s time that supermarkets take this issue seriously and support their disabled customers.”

Troubling Findings

The most startling statistic was the fact that of the ‘big four’ supermarkets surveyed; Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, on average a whopping 16% of disabled parking spaces were regularly parked in with no Blue Badge on display.  While this is still high, there is a silver lining.  This figure has in fact dropped from over 18% in 2017 so change is already happening.

According to DMUK, the recent changes to allow those with a hidden disability to have a Blue Badge will vastly increase the demand for disabled parking spaces which is why combatting the abuse is vital.

Steps Towards Parking Paradise

Supermarkets can enforce their car park by ensuring that a member of staff is present and patrolling the car park to catch fraudsters out.  DMUK is also opening discussions with the supermarkets involved to encourage them to introduce more enforcement in anticipation of the increase in number of badge holders.  Heidi Turner, Communications and Campaigns Director at DMUK magazine believes that the Baywatch campaign is slowly but surely improving parking conditions and that it’s high time more supermarkets were committed to making a change.

Heidi said: “Disabled parking is under immense pressure to meet the demand for it and if supermarkets enforced their disabled bays properly they can increase the volume of available disabled parking by 20%. It’s time that supermarkets take this issue seriously and support their disabled customers.”

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