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Blue Badge parking scheme

If the person you're looking after has severe mobility problems that make using public transport difficult, they may be able to apply for a Blue Badge for their car. This can help them park closer to places they wish to visit. Badges can be displayed on any vehicle in which the badge holder travels, as either passenger or driver.

Blue Badge holders are entitled to parking concessions, such as:

  • free parking and parking without time limits at on-street pay and display parking and parking meters
  • parking on single and double yellow lines
  • longer stays in on-street time-limited parking bays
  • a 100% discount on the London congestion charge fee
  • exemption from charges at some tolls and river crossings

The Blue Badge scheme operates across the UK and in some other European Union countries.

The Blue Badge scheme is run by your local authority, which will issue you with a valid permit. Most local authorities allow you to apply for a badge online. Central London has been exempt from the national Blue Badge regulations because of the unique parking problems and traffic congestion. Four of the central London boroughs do not fully operate the Blue Badge scheme. They are the City of London, the City of Westminster, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and part of the London Borough of Camden. If you or the person you look after are resident in one of these boroughs, contact the local authority to find out how they can help.

Who can apply?

The person you look after can get a Blue Badge automatically if they:

  • receive the higher rate of the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance
  • are registered blind
  • receive a War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement

A Blue Badge may also be issued if the person:

  • is the driver or passenger in a motor vehicle and has a 'permanent and substantial' disability that makes walking very difficult or means that they cannot walk at all, or
  • drives regularly, has a severe disability in both arms, and is unable to operate all or some types of parking meter (or would find it very difficult to operate them).

If you are the parent of a child who is younger than two years old, you may be able to qualify for a Blue Badge if your child has a medical condition which requires them to travel with bulky medical equipment, or they need to be kept close to a vehicle for emergency medical treatment.

Challenging a decision

There is no automatic right of appeal against a local authority’s decision to refuse to issue a Blue Badge. However, you may ask that the local authority reconsiders its decision if you feel the person’s mobility problems have become more serious or that not all the facts were taken into consideration when the decision was made.


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The 1 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Silver Wanderer said on 11 February 2011

Certain NHS hospitals avoid the blue badge exemption, eg St Helier of Sutton and St Peters of Chertsey. They provide a small number of places for disabled parking which are insufficient in practice. Then you have to park in the standard car park and are charged as if you are able bodied.
I have no doubt that this unethical practice is used by other NHS hospitals but nobody is respocible for imposing a code of paractice on these bean counters.
It is ironic that an organisation we pay to care for the sick should be so hard hearted about the disabled.
They should be compelled to work to the same standards as local authorities.

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Page last reviewed: 19/08/2013

Next review due: 19/08/2015

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