The Government has recently announced a consultation exercise on eligibility for the Blue Badge disabled parking concession scheme. Blue Badge holders are entitled to use disabled parking spaces, which allow easy access to shopping and other vital facilities and can make it possible for a disabled driver to lead an independent life.
Although the scheme is commonly associated with physical disabilities requiring the use of mobility aids, people with non-visible disabilities such as autism and dementia are also eligible to apply, providing they can show that their condition limits their mobility (for example, difficulty with crowded parking facilities). However, the Government has identified that guidelines around ‘non-physical’ eligibility are not applied consistently by local authorities, with some disabled people being unable to join the scheme despite their condition making it difficult for them to use a car. The Department of Transport, which administers the Blue Badge scheme, hopes to implement revised guidelines that should make badges available for those who need them most, regardless of the nature of their disability.
To give your views on the new guidelines, either as an individual or on behalf of an organisation, visit the Blue Badge consultation webpage. The consultation was launched on the 21st January 2018 and runs until the 18th March.