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Have your say on changes to the Blue Badge scheme

Thursday 25th January 2018

The government has announced a consultation on changes to the Blue Badge scheme in England. The changes will make it easier for people with conditions such as learning disabilities or autistic spectrum disorders to qualify for a badge.

What is the Blue Badge scheme and who qualifies?

The Blue Badge scheme helps you park closer to your destination if you're disabled. Without the scheme, 75% of badge holders have said that they would go out less often.

You are eligible for the Blue Badge parking concession scheme if you claim Personal Independence Payments (PIP) for yourself and you score eight points or more under the PIP activity of 'moving around'.

You are also eligible if your child either:

  • Is under three and has a condition which means they either need to be accompanied by bulky equipment or kept near a vehicle at all times
  • Receives the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) 
  • Is aged two or above and has severe walking problems 

However, it can be difficult to convince many councils that a child with learning difficulties, autism or other non-physical disabilities has severe difficulty walking.

The proposed changes are aimed at making it easier for those with 'hidden disabilities' to qualify. This is something that Contact welcomes and which we have raised with government in previous consultations.

What is the government seeking views on?

In particular the government is seeking views on the following changes:

  • Allowing those who score at least 12 points under the PIP mobility test of 'planning and following a journey' to automatically qualify for a Blue Badge; this is a rule which already exists in Scotland and Wales.
  • Changing the 'assessed route' rules so that councils can award a Blue Badge not only to those who have difficulties in walking but also to those who cannot:

- Undertake any journey without there being a risk of very considerable harm to the health or safety of that person or any other person;

- Follow the route of any journey without another person, assistance animal or orientation aid

How to respond

We will be responding to this consultation. To let us know your views, please contact una.summerson@contact.org.uk or ring 020 7608 8742.

The consultation can be accessed at the government's website.

If you'd prefer to respond individually, you can reply online, or if this is not possible you can email responses to bluebadge.consultation@dft.gsi.gov.uk.

Hard copies can be posted to:

Vida Browne-Campbell
Department for Transport
Traffic and Technology Division
3/27 Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
London SW1P 4DR

If you would like alternative formats (Braille, audio CD, etc), please contact vida.browne-campbell@dft.gsi.gov.uk

The consultation runs until 11:45pm on 18 March 2018

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