16,000 'dead people' use Blue Badges
* Audit Commission reveals fraud * Blue Badges used after holder dies * Costs taxpayers 80 million a year...
More than 16,000 motorists are fraudulently using disabled parking badges, according to the Audit Commission's National Fraud Initiative.
The Comission's investigators found that thousands of drivers are using Blue Badges issued to people who have subsequently died.
By comparing recorded deaths with the list of Blue Badge holders, investigators found that 16,102 people in 80 council areas were using badges belonging to the dead.
The permits are intended for people with severe mobility problems who have difficulty using public transport. They entitle holders to use free reserved parking spaces and avoid paying other fees such as the London Congestion Charge.
The Audit Commission estimates that each Blue Badge used fraudulently costs taxpayers as much as 5000 a year, meaning the abuse of deceased people's badges is costing 80 million a year.
Last year 2.3 million Blue Badges were in circulation.