SMPs pass disabled parking law

Scottish MPs have introduced a new law which will see drivers who abuse disabled parking bays fined £30, and the rest of the UK is being urged to to do the same.

Holyrood unanimously backed a Bill to end the misuse of disabled parking spaces and to transform 85% of disabled parking bays, which are currently advisory, into official spaces at a cost of between £3 million and £6 million.

The Disabled Persons' Parking Places (Scotland) Bill, introduced by Labour MSP Jackie Baillie, will make disabled parking bays that are under local council control legally enforceable, meaning that anyone who parks in them wrongly will be penalised.

If the £30 penalty is not paid by drivers within 14 days of receiving the fine it will increase to £60.

Stephen Neale, director of Scottish services at the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, said: "For too long disabled people have had to rely on the courtesy and consideration of other drivers not to take their reserved parking spaces. Sadly all too often these spaces are not respected."

Under the Bill councils will be required to contact the owners and operators of private car parks, such as supermarkets, to also make disabled parking places enforceable there.

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