How does the Blue Badge Scheme work?

The Blue Badge Scheme helps those with severe mobility problems who have difficulty using public transport to park close to where they need to go.

In the biggest overhaul of the scheme since the 1970’s, the government has changed the way of assessing who gets a Blue Badge to make the process clearer and align it with wider disability benefit reforms and to include people with “hidden disabilities” such as autism and mental health conditions.

How does the Scheme work?

The scheme provides a national range of on-street parking concessions for Blue Badge holders who are traveling either as a driver or passenger.

It allows badge holders to park without charge or time limit in places such as on-street disabled bays and at on-street parking meters and pay and display machines.

Badge holders can also park on yellow lines for up to three hours, unless a ban on loading or unloading is in force.

The new criteria

The new criteria will extend eligibility to people who:

  • cannot undertake a journey without there being a risk of serious harm to their health or safety or that of any other person (such as young children with autism)
  • cannot undertake a journey without it causing them very considerable psychological distress
  • have very considerable difficulty when walking (both the physical act and experience of walking)

The cost

A Blue Badge costs up to £10 in England, £20 in Scotland and is free in Wales.

Applying for a Blue Badge

You can apply online at


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