Millions more people will be able to apply for blue badge parking permits from Friday as new rules come into force to support those with hidden health concerns. The scheme's eligibility criteria in England has been expanded by the Department for Transport DfT to include people who cannot walk without considerable psychological distress or risking serious harm.
This will make it easier for people with conditions such as anxiety disorders or brain injuries to travel to work, socialise and access shops and services. Depending on the location, the permits often enable holders to park free of charge in pay and display bays and for up to three hours on yellow lines, while in London they exempt holders from the congestion charge. Under the changes, people living with dementia, anxiety disorders and reduced mobility, should find it easier to access a parking space. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "We know that for some people, the possibility of not being able to find a parking space can make even leaving the house a challenge, which is why the blue badge is so important.
Councils assess applications for blue badges and not everyone with a hidden disability will qualify for one. National Autistic Society head of policy Tim Nicholls said: "We are delighted to see the new blue badge rules come into force. To live up to this promise, it's absolutely essential that council officials making decisions about blue badges understand autism and the challenges autistic people can face getting out and about.
The expanded scheme coincides with the launch of a review to help local authorities tackle fraudulent use of the badges. The government has announced that, on 30th of August this year, people with 'hidden disabilities' will be able to apply for a Blue Badge. This means drivers with less visible disabilities, including dementia, anxiety disorders or reduced mobility, should find it easier to access a parking space. However, bear in mind that despite the new criteria, local authorities will still have the final say on who does and does not qualify - meaning even if you do fall into one of the above brackets, there's still no guarantee you'll be accepted.
You can apply for it online here through the Government website. You'll need proof of your circumstances, as well as your address and your National Insurance number to hand. Putting the picture of the holder on the outside will enable enforcement officials to recognise if it is being used by the holder. Some may believe this is an abuse of privacy, I would welcome any measure to; reduce abuse of this scheme. I have a WAV and I am finding it harder and harder to park and at times I have simply gone home and not bothered.
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Our local council saw fit to remove well over a dozen disabled parking bays to replace them with a taxi rank, thus indicating how important we folk with mobility problems are to them. Perhaps the review may also consider the rationale of how the badges are allocated in the first place. One way to reduce the misuse of the Blue Badge is to reintroduce the rule whereby the badge is place photo up.
At present it is impossible to tell if the apparently fully able person using the badge is actually entitled due to a "hidden" disability. I believe the badge needs to be made proofed against forgery. I know some will not like this but I also believe the photo should be on the front. If the photo was on the front it would be easy for anyone to check that it matches the user. Last week I arrived at Asda to do my weekly shopping and the disabled bays were full, why, because it was hammering down with rain. I had to park my heavily modified Motability van 70 yards away from the entrance.
They get away with it because the car park is privately owned. The Blue Badge scheme should 'reserve' parking spaces for those that have problems walking; shown by needing an aid to walk.
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The intended inclusion of some disabilities that don't preclude walking should not, in my opinion, be included in the Blue Badge scheme. A person with a disability who can walk without aid should not take up a parking space for those that have problem walking. The difficulty comes with those with a heart condition; or other 'hidden' disability. Yet, if such a person anticipates walking around a shop without aid surely they can walk across a car park.
Where such a person needs an aid then such use would be obvious and raise no questions. As to fines for fraudulent use. Those very few cases that are prosecuted should receive the maximum penalty or near to.
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- Blue Badge will apply to people with 'hidden disabilities' like anxiety and dementia.
Presumably, extenuating circumstances have been considered, and appropriate warnings given, before any case has been taken to Court. Suitable publicity of the prosecution for the offence may deter others. Personally, while my wheelchair is carried in the back of the vehicle, it's the extra space to open the side door that I find most useful.
The 'extra' space allows me to open the door fully giving me room to get in and out of my vehicle. The Blue Badge parking near the shop enables me to use my walking stick for the short distance before using a trolley as a walker. Such an approach means I'm not blocking the isles with my 'aid'.
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Where a trolley is not to hand, I have to use my wheelchair. I believe that having the Photograph on the front of the badge would be very helpful. It would be most helpful if parking in a disabled bay without a blue badge , or misusing a Blue badge became a criminal offence. I myself am a blue badge holder. I was somewhat amazed to hear people with mental health disabilities would soon be entitled to a blue badge.
It was set up for people who could not walk very far if at all.
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As horrible as it is, I know as I suffer anxiety and depression as well as having to use a mobility scooter and sticks , but you still have use of your legs with both these conditions. I would love to be able to walk across a car park, or get out of a small parking space, where you cannot open your door fully to get in or out. I see the blue badge scheme being abused as it is.
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There is no way the current system can be all things to all people, it has to be kept for people who cannot walk, it is us who are being penalised. So walking across the car park would surely help. I agree with Dave Curle, but I also think that the photograph should be facing the outside, if the photograph of the person is showing it may make it it more difficult for people to misuse because there is a clear indication of whose badge it is.
We go to the beach and often see people mainly elderly I have to say sitting in the car to eat their sandwiches or ice creams. Completely pointless and a complete misuse especially for people who need the extra space, like myself, to get wheelchair access or to be able to get out of the car. Much more needs to be done. I know this may be an unpopular opinion. I know of someone who can walk OK and drive a car OK but has mental issues. The problem is as soon as he has parked the car he wants to get out. He just opens the car door and it may hit the car next to his. There is no time for the carer to get out and open the car for him.
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So he needs a wide disabled bay to prevent damage to other vehicles. Not all disabilities are obvious to an outsider. I think the photo should be on show so the authorities can check the person in the car is the person using the badge. This is excellent news especially as people are ignoring signs which state that particular places are reserved for disabled parking.
Its a pity that our top supermarkets cannot be more forthright in doing something to deter people from abusing their disabled parking spaces also.
http://gatsbybuild.co.uk/el-clculo-de-la-vida.php I recently asked my local council Cheshire East , in view of the legislation coming into force regarding the increase in eligibilty criteria for Blue Badges,what steps they were going to take to increse the number of blue badge spaces in their car parks, what extra checks they would be doing to reduce the abuse of parking spaces and how many prosecutions they have proceeded with in the last 12 months.
I also asked how many badges had been cancelled due to abuse. This makes a complete mockery of the responsibility that my local council has towards those people with disabilities. My own view is that the photo of the disabled person should be on the front of the badge so that it can been seen immediately whether the badge holder is actually present.
The key to this is proper enforcement. After this responsibility was transferred from the police to civil enforcement officers, what was already a mediocre service, simply got worse. There are not enough enforcement staff by any measure. I remember reading a local authority report to members a few years ago, where the author made it clear that such was the dire situation financially, he recommended only deploying staff where there was likely to be prospect of sufficient penalties to generate income. Enforcement staff, even where they are generally deployed, will patrol an area for a week or two in the hope that where a few tickets have been issued the populace won't take the risk.
However, they soon become cute about staff not being about and start parking again.