Is the Blue Badge Scheme in crisis?
Confused.com, the insurance and financial services price comparison website reports that there are now some 38 blue badge holders fighting for every Council owned parking bay, despite Councils creating 1,800 spaces in response to changes to the scheme that were announced last year. According to their research, £158,000 worth of fines were issued to people who misused Blue Badge spaces, and because of that misuse, two thirds of Blue Badge holders were forced to park elsewhere.
In the biggest change to the scheme since the 1970’s, back in August 2019 the scheme was extended to include people with “hidden disabilities” which led to an increase in the number of people applying for badges – an increase of around 35,000 applications.
People with hidden disabilities include those with autism, dementia, arthritis, Parkinson’s, anxiety disorders and limited mobility.
In addition to accepting a new category of application, the system was simplified to enable applicants to check their eligibility online.
The reasoning behind the changes is an important part of the government’s drive for greater parity between physical and mental health.
Are you or your child entitled to a blue badge?
Some people will automatically get a Blue Badge, including people who receive the higher rate of the mobility component or Disability Living Allowance, receive 8 points or more under the “moving around” activity of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and those who are registered blind.
You can find out if you qualify to apply for a Blue Badge here
Applying for a Blue Badge
You can apply for a Blue Badge via the government’s website. When applying you will need proof of identity (for example a passport or driving licence), proof of address, proof of any benefits, and your national insurance number.
You can apply here
You can read more on this topic by visiting the Confused.com website here