Drivers could be fined for improper use of disabled parking bays at Ayrshire hospitals due to a new Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) coming into effect from May 1.

Drivers who use the bays inappropriately in NHS Ayrshire & Arran car parks will soon be liable for a Penalty Charge Notice thanks to the introduction.

The TRO would make it an offence for anyone not displaying a blue badge to park in designated disabled parking bays at University Hospital Ayr and Crosshouse.

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The regulation will also apply to those who park longer than the stated time of 20 minutes in the drop-off areas at hospital entrance

Currently a parking penalty charge for the misuse of a designated disabled bay is £60, collection and management of which will fall within the remit of the local authorities.

Any income from the penalties would go to the relevant local authority and will cover the enforcement of the TRO.

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NHS Ayrshire & Arran are working alongside the Ayrshire Roads Alliance to encourage a behaviour change from those who misuse the disabled parking bays and free these up for people who have a genuine need to park closer to hospital entrances.

Nicola Graham, Director of Infrastructure and Support Services, explains: “Across our sites, we have almost 5,500 car parking spaces, 261 of which are dedicated disabled parking bays. Despite this, we receive a high number of complaints from service users and visitors to our hospitals that these disabled parking bays are often filled with cars not displaying a blue badge.

“Currently, the misuse of disabled spaces carries a penalty in public car parks and roads, but not in hospital sites. By introducing this TRO, we hope to discourage drivers from parking inappropriately – either in disabled parking bays or in the drop-off areas at our hospital entrances.”

Ayrshire Roads Alliance, acting on behalf of South and East Ayrshire Councils, would patrol these spaces and issue any relevant PCN in line with the TRO.