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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 March, 2005, 13:12 GMT
Blue badge scheme may go UK-wide
Disabled badge
Tower Hamlets found one in three badges were being misused
A scheme in east London to combat the soaring number of stolen blue badges could be rolled out across the country.

The badges allow drivers with disabilities to park on yellow lines and enter London's congestion charge zone free of charge.

Unlike regular blue badges, in Tower Hamlets the vehicle registration number is printed on the badge.

The scheme started in 2003 after it was found one in three badges was being misused, and cut badge crime by 20%.

The scheme will be piloted across London's boroughs and if successful it will be rolled out nationwide.

Blue badge fraud is a huge problem across London as the congestion charge is waived.

The fraud is fuelled by the high cost of parking which can be as high as 4 an hour.

A similar scheme using vehicle-specific parking permits for drivers with disabilities is already in operation in Lambeth, south London.

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