The Government is consulting about proposals to improve eligibility for the Blue Badge disabled parking permit to people with hidden disabilities such as autism and dementia.
The proposals are aimed at bridging the gap in the treatment of physical and mental health so there are clearer guidelines about eligibility. This should make it easier for people with non-physical disabilities affecting mobility to get around and park closer to their destination.
The Blue Badge scheme, which was introduced in 1970, allows permit holders, whether a passenger or driver, to park on-streets, yellow lines e.t.c. that don’t have restrictions.
Currently, the Badge is available to people who have a permanent and substantial disability that causes inability to walk or difficulty in walking.
The consultation would change the criteria to any person who has an enduring and substantial disability and are unable to:
- Walk or have considerable difficulty walking;
- Undertake a journey without there being a risk of harm to the health and safety of them or others;
- Follow the route of a journey without another person, assistance animal or orientation aid.
The changes could also see a variety of healthcare professionals, who are better placed to identify if mental health causes mobility issues, carry out assessments to determine if a Blue Badge should be given.
The consultation is open until 18th March 2018 and you can take part online at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/R2OF6/
Alternatively, there is a form online that can be completed and returned by email to or write to Vida Browne-Campbell, Department for Transport, Traffic and Technology Division, 3/27 Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR.
Transport Minister Jesse Norman said: “Blue badges give people with disabilities the freedom to get jobs, see friends or go to the shops with as much ease as possible. The current rules embrace all conditions, physical or otherwise, but it has become clear to us that the regulations and guidance are not clearly understood by local authorities. People with hidden disabilities may be finding it difficult to access badges, even though their condition causes them very significant difficulties when undertaking a journey.”
You can learn more at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/blue-badge-disabled-parking-scheme-eligibility-review