Originally introduced by the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act of 1970, the Blue Badge Scheme we recognise today has experienced various changes. One of the most obvious of those transitions being the change in colour from its original orange.
Despite the criteria for Blue Badge eligibility resting mainly upon an applicant’s receipt of governmental disability benefit, it is nevertheless local councils who are responsible for allocating the award. Concessionary badges can be awarded by local authorities to those with life-long physical impairment yet do not meet more demanding criteria.
Disabled Persons Parking Disc
These discs have the appearance of a clock-face and must be displayed alongside a holder’s Blue Badge, unless signage states otherwise. Enforcement of parking time limits must be adhered to in this way throughout England and Wales. They can be applied for online through this link.
Disabled Drivers from Abroad
Drivers from the European Union with eligible disabled driver badges must apply for a ‘Disabled Persons Parking Disc’. Failure to do so, will null the validity of certification when used within the UK. Applications for a UK parking disc can be made via a local DVLA issuing office. The AA also have a lengthy post on how UK residents can use their blue badge when travelling oversea here.
Blue Badge Removal
Improper use of a Blue Badge may resort in the award being invalidated, misuses often include:
- Parking your vehicle in a designated ‘Blue Badge’ space without the badge holder being present
- Allowing a relative or friend to wrongfully use your Blue Badge
- Unauthorised amendments made to the Blue Badge or fake badges being used
It is important to note that the misuse of a Blue Badge can result in the confiscation of the award, heavy fines and even imprisonment. The Citizen’s Advice team have an article about Blue Badge misuse and the potential implications for doing so (as well as how you can report it) here.
Reporting Blue Badge Misuse
The abuse of the Blue Badge Scheme is sadly a regular occurrence. If you suspect the misuse of a Blue Badge it is important to report it to your local council authority.
Gathering as much information as possible is important. Therefore aspects such as a person’s name, address, approximate age, height, appearance and place of work are all useful in such cases. Vehicle details, for instance make, model and number plate are also extremely helpful when making a report. In addition, information relating to routine parking times and spaces are beneficial.
Where can Blue Badges be used?
Blue badges are valid on public roads and car parks under local authority care. Concession badges are not necessarily valid at ports, airports or railway stations, however designated parking is sometimes provided.
Alternative badge colour scheme are occasionally in operation, for example local parking with the London area. These often relate to residential parking badges, allocated by authorities such as Westminster and Camden. Although residential permits, are sometimes in place, there are typically some Blue Badge arrangements in place. If unsure, it is wise to invest in prior research – and you can find out about how your local council allows use of Blue Badges here.