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Parking Partnerships Award: National Blue Badge Day of Action

British Parking Awards 2023

01 October 2023
Adam Stout from APT Skidata (category sponsor) with Lambeth Council’s Steve Davidson, Andy Skilton, Grant Jones, Tom Gallagher, awards host and Lambeth’s Jean-Marc Moocarme


The London Borough of Lambeth has long been at the forefront of Blue Badge enforcement in the UK. In 2006, it became one of the first local authorities to establish a dedicated parking fraud investigations team.

The misuse of Blue Badges by dishonest drivers prevents people with disabilities from being able to park where they need to. When Blue Badges are used fraudulently, it also undermines the scheme. Sometimes, people with non-visible disabilities who are legitimate badge holders could be accused of fraud. This causes distress and damages the reputation of the Blue Badge system.

There is also a significant cost to the public. By claiming exemptions like avoiding congestion charges, Blue Badge holders can save £2,500 per year. They may also get out of paying for a resident’s parking permit, which can cost anywhere from £50 to £250 per year. If they avoid paying hourly parking charges of £3 per hour for 40 hours a week, that adds up to an additional £6,000 per year. The fraudulent use of Blue Badges could cost local government £5,000 to £10,000 per badge each year, in addition to causing an inconvenience for disabled drivers and passengers. If a borough manages to take 100 fraudulent badges off the streets in a year, it could save the public purse over £500,000.

In 2021, Lambeth introduced the London Parking Fraud Forum and Blue Badge Day of Action, two interactive days geared towards disseminating knowledge and empowering investigators through meaningful networking opportunities.

With a focus on combating Blue Badge fraud, these events have now become an annual national platform for exchanging best practices and fostering connections among parking fraud investigators. Via the forum Lambeth been able to encourage greater collaboration between the boroughs when it comes to tackling parking fraud, and to foster new relationships which make sharing intelligence easier.

In early 2023, supported by London Councils, Lambeth invited all UK parking authorities and relevant organisations to the National Parking Fraud Forum. The event was held online in May. A total of 150 parking and fraud professionals from 75 bodies gathered and discussed the common challenges we face relating to parking fraud.

A Day of Action was proposed in 2021 at the London Parking Fraud Forum. Via the National Parking Fraud Forum it became a nationwide campaign. Thus, on Friday 26 May 2023 parking  authorities across Britain came together to work collectively on the National Blue Badge Enforcement Day of Action, organised, coordinated, and led by Lambeth with the support of London Councils. On the day, all 82 participating boroughs committed to dedicating their investigative and enforcement resources to targeting Blue Badge misuse and fraud. This meant 340 officers deployed on the streets of the UK.

The Blue Badge Day of Action really made an impact. Approximately 5,145 Blue Badges were inspected, some 227 criminal offences identified relating to Blue Badges and other parking offences. A total of 39 stolen Blue Badges were seized and taken off the streets.

The Day of Action was not only a success in terms of the enforcement on the day, but it has also functioned as a catalyst for many other local councils to look at the way they manage the Blue Badge scheme moving forward. The National Day of Action is now planned as a annual event.


Graham Footer. chief executive, Disabled Motoring UK
“Lambeth Council’s Parking Fraud Team has demonstrated exceptional commitment and innovation in raising awareness and implementing best practices for Blue Badge investigation, enforcement, and prosecution. One notable achievement was the hosting of the virtual conference, the Parking Fraud Forum. This conference brought together over eighty councils from across the UK and served as a platform for Lambeth Council to promote and share their methodologies and processes for Blue Badge enforcement. By disseminating their expertise and best practices, they have positively influenced the efforts of other councils in addressing Blue Badge misuse and fraud.

“Additionally, Disabled Motoring UK would like to commend Lambeth Council Parking Fraud Team for organising the national Blue Badge Day of Action, which took place on Friday, 26th May 2023. This significant initiative brought together eighty-two councils from across the country, all focussing on targeting Blue Badge misuse and fraud. The collaborative efforts on this day will undoubtedly have a profound effect on supporting disabled motorists and encouraging councils nationwide to prioritise and intensify their efforts in combating Blue Badge misuse.”

Diana Guerra, head of Blue Badge policy, Department for Transport
“The Blue Badge Day of Action is an inspired initiative and your commitment to engagement for active enforcement is to be commended. Through your tenacity in promoting the initiative across all local authorities in England there has been a great level of interest and participation to the day across the country, which in turn has highlighted the need for active, targeted Blue Badge enforcement to combat fraudulent use of the Blue Badge, and to ensure that the scheme continues to work in the best way possible for the disabled people who rely on accessible parking to be able to access the services they need to use on a daily basis.

“The Blue Badge team in the Department for Transport have also been contacted by our Welsh Government Blue Badge colleagues, who are very interested in speaking to you about launching something similar In Wales and I have passed on your details for them to get in touch with you personally.”
Mital Patel, London Councils
“As a result of its success, 82 authorities all over the country took part in the second ‘Blue Badge Day of Action’ on 26 May to show solidarity against the rising number of misuse/abuse and fraudulent activity in relation to the Blue Badge scheme, and the impacts that this has on some of the most vulnerable members of our communities.

“Huge congratulations Lambeth for all your efforts once again – your commitment and dedication to help tackle such issues, not just within your own borough and London-wide but to reach out and engage with the rest of the country is exemplary – we wholly support your joint enterprise initiatives and welcome any future events, so that we can continue to spread the word and keep the momentum going.”

Steve Foster, team manager parking Services, Newcastle City Council
“I would like to take the time to thank Tom Gallagher and the London borough of Lambeth for their work and support in bringing together the National Blue Badge Day of Action. The day set a benchmark nationally recognising the importance of supporting disabled badge holders being able to park where they need to and also to show our communities that misuse of the blue badge system is not acceptable.

“As an authority, Newcastle City Council, was proud to take part in this initiative and we recognised a lot of support amongst disabled drivers that badge checks were taking place as well as identifying badges being misused and in one instance a deceased persons badge was being used and is now prevented from any future use.

“The work that Tom and the team at Lambeth have done to bring this together is something that I was proud to be part of and this work was recognised by Richard Holden MP. The letter recognising this support has been shared with all my team and they are delighted to have recognition at a national level. This day of action will act as a springboard to further days of action across the rest of the year and I will be delighted to continue the work initiated by Tom and look forward to working with the team in the future. With my sincere thanks for bringing this together and coordinating a national approach.”

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