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Blue Badges and parking for disabled people in England

Published Thursday, August 16, 2018

This paper is chiefly concerned with the Blue Badge scheme; it also includes information on the provision of parking bays and on off-street parking for disabled people. The Blue Badge scheme is a devolved matter so this paper deals largely with England.

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The Blue Badge scheme provides a national arrangement of parking concessions for disabled people. A separate scheme operates in London. There are reciprocal arrangements for disabled drivers allowing them to park across the EU. The Blue Badge scheme does not apply to off-street car parks, whether local authority- or privately-owned.

The Labour Government introduced minor changes to the scheme, particularly with regard to eligibility. The Coalition Government introduced further changes to improve enforcement in the Disabled Persons' Parking Badges Act 2013 and, separately, to scheme eligibility. Individuals have also been affected by the move from Disability Living Allowance to the Personal Independence Payment.

In January 2018 the Government issued a consultation on extending eligibility for the Blue Badge to those suffering from a mental, cognitive or intellectual disability and to those people who receive 12 points for the ‘Planning and Following Journeys’ activity of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), for non-physical mobility issues. On 29 July the Government announced its intention to proceed with these changes.

In addition to Blue Badges, one of the challenges faced by disabled people who use private vehicles is being able to park both outside their home and near shops and other facilities. Local authorities have powers to install disabled parking bays and spaces both on and off road – these can be statutory or discretionary. Discretionary spaces are cheaper to install but they rely on other motorists not to park in them and are not legally enforceable. In privately owned car parks (e.g. attached to supermarkets), it is up for the landowner to install spaces for disabled people and to enforce them.

For information on Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, see:

Information on other parking matters can be found on the Roads Briefings Page of the Parliament website.

Commons Briefing papers SN01360

Author: Louise Butcher

Topics: Equality, Roads

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