A CRACKDOWN on the misuse of parking badges meant for disabled drivers has been hailed a major success by council officials.

The joint venture - launched by police, the borough council and Darlington Association on Disability - aimed to address concerns that non-disabled drivers were using badges to gain access to reserved parking spaces in the town centre.

The campaign, run during November and December, saw 370 badges checked. Thirty-two users were issued with non-endorsable fixed penalty notices for parking offences due to incorrect use of the badge. Car park attendants also found a further 12 unreadable badges and five which were out-of-date.

An education period helped launch the initiative, with persistent offenders warned that they would have their badge withdrawn or receive a fine of £1,000.

Gordon Pybus, of Darlington Association on Disability, said: "The campaign has been successful in educating badge users and their passengers on the correct use of the badge and I am very pleased with the outcome".