MY family and I often venture into the city centre to do some shopping at the weekend and, although we do not agree with the parking charges in York, we carry out a damage-limitation exercise and park in the shoppers' car park in Foss Bank.

On a Saturday, a couple of weeks ago, we were walking along Davygate and I was attracted to a black VW Tuareg 4x4 vehicle parked outside a shop.

It was noticeable because it was large, looked expensive and it seemed to narrow the pavement considerably. A disabled badge was displayed in the windscreen and so I thought nothing more of it.

Following a visit to a number of shops, and some two hours later, I was in Davygate opposite the VW Tuareg when the owner returned.

The lady was probably mid-30s, very well-dressed and was accompanied by another lady of the same ilk.

Neither of them was disabled in any way shape or form.

As the car picked its way through the throng of shoppers in this very busy footstreet it was plain to see that it was a danger to the shoppers due to its size and the fact that the shoppers thought that they were perfectly safe from cars.

Why can't the City of York Council's parking attendants carry out checks when a vehicle enters the footstreet, to confirm that the driver and/or passenger is disabled and so are entitled to park in the footstreet and, if they are blatantly flaunting the rules and regulations, issue an on-the-spot fine?

Abusers of the system give the genuine disabled a bad name.

A R Wilkinson, Poppleton, York.

A City of York Council spokeswoman said: "The Government has recently given local authorities powers to require drivers who hold a blue badge to prove their entitlement. Drivers who are unable to prove their entitlement can have their badge confiscated and, in extreme cases, face prosecution.

City of York Council parking attendants are exercising this new power and a number of badges have been confiscated. However, the vast majority of badges are used legitimately and readers should not assume that all holders must have a visible incapacity. The key criteria for issuing a badge is that the holder must have significant difficulty in walking any distance."