Badge changes come at a price

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NEW technology will be introduced to help stamp out blue badge cheats – but the cost will come out of honest blue badge holders’ pockets.

The blue badge, which offers parking privileges to people with physical disabilities, will be harder to copy or alter but the changes will mean all blue badge holders have to fork out £10 instead of £2 to get a new badge or renew a badge that has expired.

Herts County Council spokesman Tom Shipp said: “The aim of these changes is to increase fraud prevention and to cover the costs by increasing the charge fee.

“The new badge will have a hologram that cannot be photocopied or scanned and it has a barcode and other hidden features that will be evident on physical inspection.”

Atifa Ali-Khan, chief executive of Age Concern Dacorum, said: “Although the changes come at a difficult time for older people on restricted budgets, the improved technology and stronger monitoring will cut the fraudulent use that we’re all so aware of.”

Changes to the scheme come after six cheats were caught in a clampdown operation carried out in Hemel Hempstead town centre on Thursday, September 29.