What is the Blue Badge scheme?
The Blue Badge Scheme provides a national range of parking concessions for disabled people with severe mobility problems who have difficulty using public transport. The scheme is designed to help severely disabled people to travel independently, as either a driver or passenger, by allowing them to park close to their destination.
Where can Blue Badge holders park?
The Blue Badge scheme only applies to on-street parking. Badge holders have free use of parking meters and pay-and-display bays. They may also be exempt from limits on parking times imposed on other users (check local signs for information) and can park for up to three hours on yellow lines (except where there is a ban on loading or unloading or other restrictions).
The scheme does not apply to off-street car parks, such as supermarket car parks, or privately-owned roads, such as those you find at airports.
Who can get a Blue Badge?
A person qualifies automatically for a Blue Badge if they are over two years old and meet at least one of the following criteria:
• They receive the Higher Rate of the Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance;
• They are registered blind;
• They receive a War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement.
A person may also be eligible for a badge if they are more than two years old and either:
• Have a permanent and substantial disability which means they cannot walk, or which makes walking very difficult; or
• Drive a motor vehicle regularly, have a severe disability in both arms, and are unable to operate all or some types of parking meter (or would find it very difficult to operate them).
People with a behavioural or psychological disorder will not normally qualify unless their impairment causes very considerable difficulty in walking all the time.
Organisations that transport disabled people who would meet one or more of the above criteria may also be eligible for a badge. However, this is entirely at the discretion of the issuing local authority and any organisation that qualifies must follow the conditions for using it.
Special rules for children under two
A parent of a child who is less than two years old may apply for a badge for their child if the child has a specific medical condition, which means that:
• They must always be accompanied by bulky medical equipment which cannot be carried around without great difficulty; and/or
• They need to be kept near a vehicle at all times, so that they can, if necessary, be treated in the vehicle, or quickly driven to a place where they can be treated, such as a hospital.
How to apply for a Blue Badge:
In most cases you will need to contact your local County Council. In most cases, they will be able to tell you at the end of the call if you are eligible for a badge.
Taking Care of Your Blue Badge:
If your badge is lost or stolen you should report it to the Police and obtain a crime reference number, then please call Care Direct on 0845 1551 007 or Disability Information Service on 0845 1551 005.
You must make sure that the details on the front of your badge remain legible. If the badge details become unreadable through wear and tear or fading, please call Care Direct on 0845 1551 007 or Disability Information Service on 0845 1551 005.
Renewing your badge
Your badge will normally last for three years and you should automatically be sent a renewal notice at least six weeks before the expiry date.
If you change address, inform your County Council of your new address by telephoning Care Direct on 0845 1551 007 or Disability Information Service on 0845 1551 005. If you move to a different county your badge will still be valid but you will have to reapply to the new local authority when it expires.