A call to clampdown on illegal parking in disabled parking bays has been made after figures revealed almost 150 people were fined for parking illegally in council operated spaces.
Disability Action Yorkshire has said more needs to be done to penalise drivers who illegally use disabled parking bays.
Jackie Snape, Chief Executive of Disability Action Yorkshire said: “Many disabled people rely on cars, either driven by themselves or by others, as an essential means of getting around. The ease of reaching their destination is almost always determined by where they can park – therefore the provision of well designed, accessible bays is vital.
"We are constantly hearing about misuse of accessible parking bays, both on the public highway and in places like supermarkets, with people saying things like ‘I’m only going to be a minute’. In fact at our own premises, clearly signed with our name we have had people parking in the accessible bays asking ‘are you expecting any disabled people’.
"Not all disabled people are wheelchair users and for those with limited mobility the availability of an accessible parking bay near to a venue can be vital.
"We would very much like to see a clampdown on parking in accessible bays as well as greater provision within the area. It may sometimes be inconvenient to have to find a parking space, but not being able to access work, shops etc due to inconsiderate illegal use of accessible parking bays can be devastating."
She also added that for disabled people, access to disabled bays will likely determine how hard a journey will be for them.
A Freedom of Information Request by the Advertiser showed 149 people were fined a total of £2,986 by Harrogate Council last year.