Disabled drivers and Sandbanks visitors have both been targeted in a bid to fill a £485,000 black hole in Poole’s car park income.

Borough of Poole’s transportation advisory group has approved proposals to reintroduce charges for blue badge holders (non-road tax exempt) in all council-owned surface car parks.

And they also plan to charge pay and display parking fees for the residential roads on the Sandbanks peninsula – Brownsea, Grassmere, Haven, Seacombe and Panorama Roads.

The council issues around 7,000 blue badges a year and provides 156 dedicated disabled parking bays in its car parks.

Free parking was introduced in September 2009 in a bid to encourage blue badge holders not to park on roads where the vehicle could adversely affect traffic.

But this has been so successful it is now “having a considerable impact on car park income”, losing the council £79,000 a year.

The Sandbanks peninsula has 224 on-street parking bays which could be covered by 23 solar power payment machines, charging £1.50 per hour in the daytimes during summer and £1 for up to an hour in winter, £2 for more than an hour.

It is anticipated they would generate £241 per space, a total of £54,000, with a capital cost of £58,000 and annual operating costs of £9,000.

Jason Benjamin, parking services manager said income from car parks was down considerably this year, meaning services had to be cut, including those which supported the vulnerable.

“Unfortunately, free parking for blue badge holders is no longer considered affordable,” he said.

“However, the council will continue to make available the most convenient spaces for this group of users.”

He said a formal consultation would take place before any decision was taken to introduce charges at Sandbanks.

“With the budget pressures facing the council, it is necessary to consider introducing charges for parking on street in the peninsula, in line with those which already exist in the nearby Sandbanks car park,” he said.