Blue Badge scheme

The following is reproduced, with permission from the relevant area of the Directgov website. However, you should also be made aware that, if you are on the higher rate of Disability Living Allowance and a blue badge holder, then you are entitled to disability ”exemption from paying vehicle excise duty” (car tax). For more information visit the Direct Gov website here.

The UK Blue (formerly orange) Badge scheme provides a range of parking benefits for disabled people who travel either as drivers or as passengers. The scheme operates throughout the UK.

Where the scheme applies

The concessions only apply to on-street parking and include free use of parking meters and pay-and-display bays. Badge holders may also be exempt from limits on parking times imposed on others and can park for up to three hours on yellow lines (except where there is a ban on loading or unloading or other restrictions).

Do you qualify?

You may qualify if you:

  • Are receiving the higher rate of the Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance
  • Are receiving a War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement
  • Use a motor vehicle supplied by a government health department
  • Are a registered blind person
  • Have severe disability in both upper limbs, drive a motor vehicle regularly but cannot turn the steering wheel by hand even if that wheel is fitted with a turning knob
  • Have a permanent and substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking

Where the scheme applies

The badges – sometimes known as disabled parking permits – can be used throughout the UK and while travelling abroad within the European Union (EU) and in some other European countries.

The Blue Badge scheme does not apply to off-street car parks, private roads or at most airports.

Your social services department at your council will tell you how to apply for a Blue Badge.

Use Directgov’s interactive tool to find Blue Badge parking bays near you, or across the UK.

Find Blue Badge parking bays

Find your local council

A list of EU countries where the scheme applies

Apply for a Blue Badge parking permit locally

Your local authority is responsible for issuing Blue Badge parking permits – contact them for more information.

The following link will let you enter details of where you live and then take you to your local authority website where you can find out more and/or apply online.

London congestion charge

Blue Badge holders qualify for a 100 per cent exemption from the congestion charge but you must register with Transport for London (TfL), before travelling. An application form is available from TfL.

Telephone: 0845 900 1234

Minicom users: 020 7649 9123

Download the ‘Blue Badge holder discount’ form (PDF document, 130K)

Help with PDF files

Misuse of disabled parking bays

”Blue Badge parking bays”

It is an offence to park a vehicle which is not displaying a badge in a Blue Badge parking bay. If you see this, you should report it to a traffic warden (or parking enforcement officer), the local police or the local council (who are responsible for issuing badges).

Police officers, traffic wardens, local authority parking attendants and civil enforcement officers have the right to inspect Blue Badges. It is an offence to refuse or fail to produce a badge for inspection, without reasonable excuse. This offence carries a maximum fine of £1,000.

Find your local council

”Off-street’ disabled parking bays such as supermarkets”

Most disabled persons’ parking bays in off-street car parks – for example, supermarket car parks – are not covered by Blue Badge scheme regulations.

Car parks and parking bays like these are likely to be privately owned and managed by the individual business. The agreement, and any cost to use them, will be between the owner and the motorists/customers.

If you are a disabled motorist (or passenger) and you complain to, for example, a supermarket that a non-disabled motorist has parked in a disabled bay, an employee of the store could ask the driver to move their car from the disabled bay but they will not be in a position to legally insist on it.

If you think that people are unfairly parking in disabled bays, speak or write to the management of the store or car park.

The government (Department for Transport) supports ‘ Baywatch‘ – a partnership between several major supermarkets and disability organisations – including the Disabled Drivers’ Association. The campaign aims to end the abuse of parking bays put aside for disabled drivers’ use.

Misuse of the Blue Badge

Local councils can take away a badge if the badge holder misuses it – for example, by allowing other people to use it or if a person’s disability improves so that they are no longer eligible for the scheme.

If you are a badge holder, it can only be used for your benefit. If a trip is for someone else and you are a passenger and staying in the vehicle, you cannot use the badge simply to let them benefit from free parking.

Blue Badges need to be properly issued and displayed. It is an offence if a badge is not removed from a vehicle and people other than the badge holder take advantage of the parking concessions under the scheme.

Misuse of the badge itself by a non-disabled person is an offence. The maximum fine if someone is convicted is £1,000 plus any additional penalty for the related parking offence.

Road Traffic Act 1991 (go to section 35)

The Disabled Persons (Badges and Motor Vehicles) (England) Regulations 2000

Find out about parking bays for registered disabled drivers locally

The following link will let you enter details of where you live and then take you to your local authority website, where you can find out about parking bays for registered disabled drivers in your local area.

Find out about parking bays for registered disabled drivers locally

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