The Blue Badge Scheme (previously known as the Orange Badge scheme) provides a national system of parking concessions for disabled people travelling as drivers or passengers. Badge holders are exempt from certain parking restrictions, check with the Local Authority before you travel.
Some local authorities in tourist areas restrict their free parking in local car parks to residents only. It is always best to check the tariff boards in pay and display car parks to be sure.
You can qualify for a badge if you or the person you are caring for:
- Gets the higher rate of the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Uses a car supplied by a Government Health Department
- Receives a War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement
The one you are caring for may also qualify if they have a permanent and substantial disability which leaves them unable to walk or they have very considerable difficulty in walking.
A 'permanent and substantial disability' is judged to be cases when the person is generally incapable of visiting shops, public buildings and other places unless allowed to park close to the destination. The person you are caring for (or you on their behalf) may be asked to answer a series of questions to enable your local authority to decide whether they are eligible. All the above will need to be verified by a GP who knows you.
Where to apply
Applications should be made to the social work department of your county council, unitary council, or the Metropolitan Borough or London Borough Council. Your local authority will decide if the person you are caring for qualifies for a badge. Unfortunately there is no right of appeal in the case of an unsuccessful application.