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  1. Published on: 15/06/2019 05:45 AMReported by: roving-eye




    Blue Badge scheme to be extended to people who have less visible disabilities, making journeys more accessible

    this change to the scheme is the biggest in nearly 50 years with the extended criteria coming into force on 30 August 2019

    review also launched into Blue Badge fraud and ways of reducing misuse

    People with hidden disabilities will soon be able to access Blue Badge parking permits, thanks to the rollout of new guidance today (June 15 2019).


    For drivers or passengers with dementia, anxiety disorders or reduced mobility, the anticipation of travel difficulties such as finding a parking space can build on top of the stress of the journey itself.


    The new guidance, which represents the biggest change to the scheme since the 1970s, will offer a lifeline to people who often find road travel difficult by providing better access to work and other amenities. It will also help combat loneliness by enabling them to stay connected to family and friends.


    The expanded scheme coincides with the launch of a new task force to toughen up enforcement and help councils tackle fraudulent use of the badges.


    Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

    As a society we don’t do enough for people with hidden disabilities.


    I hope this change to Blue Badge guidance will make a real difference to people’s lives.


    At the end of 2018, the Local Government Association estimated that the theft of Blue Badges had risen by 45 percent in 12 months and increased six-fold since 2013.


    The review will look at ensuring Blue Badges are used correctly and improving public understanding so that those with hidden disabilities can use the badges with confidence.


    Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said:


    It’s unacceptable that people with hidden disabilities still face discrimination when using disabled facilities like parking spaces.


    Extending the Blue Badge scheme is a watershed moment in ensuring those with hidden disabilities are able to travel with greater ease and live more independent lives.


    To help councils with the expected increase in applications, the department has agreed with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to provide £1.7 million in the first year of the programme.


    The Department for Transport has been working with specialists to expand the eligibility criteria for the badges, which will now include people who cannot walk as part of a journey without considerable psychological distress or the risk of serious harm.


    The Blue Badge scheme already means people with physical disabilities can park closer to their destination than other drivers, as they are less able to take public transport or walk longer distances.


    The extension of these badges to those with less visible conditions was announced last summer following an 8 week consultation on widening the eligibility criteria. It is an important part of the government’s drive for greater parity between physical and mental health.


    Jane Harris, Director of External Affairs at the National Autistic Society, said:

    The changes will make a huge difference to thousands of autistic people and their families across England – helping them to go out in the way many others take for granted.


    Just leaving the house is incredibly difficult for many autistic people – and involves detailed preparation. Some autistic people have no concept of the dangers of the road while others are so anxious about plans going wrong, like not being able to find a parking space, that they don’t go out at all. Having a Blue Badge will be life-changing and help many to reduce loneliness and isolation.


    A task group will be set up with key organisations to gather ideas and evidence on how to improve the consistency of council enforcement to tackle fraud and misuse.

    The review will also look at ensuring that there is greater public awareness of which groups are eligible for a badge, when it can and cannot be used, and how to surrender the badge when it is no longer needed, for example if the badge holder dies.


    While the new criteria will give clear and consistent guidelines on Blue Badge eligibility for the whole of England, not everyone with non-physical disabilities will qualify for a badge. It will be up to the relevant local authority to decide if an applicant meets the eligibility criteria, as is currently the case.

    Last year, the government set out its plans to improve accessibility across all modes of transport in the Inclusive Transport Strategy which launched on 25 July 2018. The strategy aims to make the UK’s transport network fully inclusive by 2030.

    Those eligible can apply for or renew a Blue Badge online.

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  2. Your Comments:


  3. The Debster says:15/06/2019 08:40 AM
    For around £2 on Amazon you can buy badges saying "I have a hidden disability" to be displayed alongside your blue badge

  4. hja says:15/06/2019 09:27 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by The Debster View Post
    For around £2 on Amazon you can buy badges saying "I have a hidden disability" to be displayed alongside your blue badge
    Before they bring this out they need to weed out those cheats who have them and are no more “disabled” than I am. You see them park then jump out skipping off to do there shopping. A good walk would do them the world of good it’s called exercise.

  5. Likes The PNP liked this post
  6. Knot wright says:15/06/2019 03:15 PM
    Just leaving the house is incredibly difficult for many autistic people – and involves detailed preparation. Some autistic people have no concept of the dangers of the road while others are so anxious about plans going wrong, like not being able to find a parking space, that they don’t go out at all. Having a Blue Badge will be life-changing and help many to reduce loneliness and isolation.

    this is what helps a lot , for example we did a family trip out for a meal , the greeter at the restaurant advised us that there were no tables available and to wait ...

    what my son heard was " there were no tables available " ....

    what happened next was a full melt down , meal cancelled and a lot of dirty looks over the noise ....as we struggled to get him out of the door the to the car with out hurting his joints ... the reason for which he has the use of a blue badge ...

    and unfortunately a lot of people around here think they can just use a blue badge bay despite not having a blue badge ... which does not help

  7. Ceam says:15/06/2019 04:23 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by hja View Post
    Before they bring this out they need to weed out those cheats who have them and are no more “disabled” than I am. You see them park then jump out skipping off to do there shopping. A good walk would do them the world of good it’s called exercise.

    Have you maybe not thought that they are people with hidden disabilities, Or maybe going to collect some one with a disability? Don't be so quick to judge.

  8. Alikado says:15/06/2019 08:10 PM
    To cut down misuse they should put the picture of the badge holder on the front,, that would enable enforcement officers to check for misuse.

  9. Ceam says:15/06/2019 11:11 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Alikado View Post
    To cut down misuse they should put the picture of the badge holder on the front,, that would enable enforcement officers to check for misuse.
    There is a picture, and they can ask to look at it. Why should it be on the front?

  10. PENTHOUSEJOE says:15/06/2019 11:57 PM
    The person driving the vehicle is not always the person who is disabled. They have some one driving as they are disabled. This sometimes leads to so called abuse. That’s what you got to remember when you see someone skipping down the road etc.

  11. Coastal99 says:16/06/2019 07:16 AM
    Since when were they called Blue Badge cards ?

    I thought they were called 4x4 Parking Permits

  12. Ceam says:16/06/2019 11:51 AM
    Well we would love to not have or need one. Just think about that before the sarcastic comments.

  13. gsgsgs says:16/06/2019 11:52 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by PENTHOUSEJOE View Post
    The person driving the vehicle is not always the person who is disabled. They have some one driving as they are disabled. This sometimes leads to so called abuse. That’s what you got to remember when you see someone skipping down the road etc.
    This may well be but the person who the badge is issued to needs to be present and if they stay in the vehicle then this negates the need to park in a disabled place, I had this with my nan all the time she'd say use my badge but as she'd stay in my car I wouldn't.

  14. Ceam says:16/06/2019 11:57 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by gsgsgs View Post
    This may well be but the person who the badge is issued to needs to be present and if they stay in the vehicle then this negates the need to park in a disabled place, I had this with my nan all the time she'd say use my badge but as she'd stay in my car I wouldn't.


    They may be collecting the person with the disability. In which case they are perfectly entitled to use the badge.

    But you are right it's very frustrating when you see the person who the badge belongs to not leaving the vehicle, It is also against the rules of using a blue badge.

  15. gsgsgs says:16/06/2019 01:44 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Ceam View Post
    They may be collecting the person with the disability. In which case they are perfectly entitled to use the badge.
    Good point, hadn't thought of that.

  16. Alikado says:16/06/2019 05:06 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Ceam View Post
    There is a picture, and they can ask to look at it. Why should it be on the front?
    It would stop alot of misuse and a quick glance by an enforcement officer can quickly clear up any query and save any embarrassment.

  17. Ceam says:16/06/2019 07:04 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Alikado View Post
    It would stop alot of misuse and a quick glance by an enforcement officer can quickly clear up any query and save any embarrassment.
    If they want to see it they can, Why should their picture be in the public domain?
    Last edited by Ceam; 16/06/2019 at 09:32 PM.


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