Guide, Health & Wellbeing

Understanding The Blue Badge Scheme

The blue badge scheme is designed to assist those who have a severe mobility problem or who have difficulty using public transport to park close to local shops and other amenities. As a blue badge holder, you may be exempt from parking time restrictions and are able to park on single yellow lines as long as an obstruction is not caused.

This disability parking permits are used throughout the UK however we advise you check with your local council on specific criteria and restrictions which might be in place. The government scheme website can provide key information from your council in relation to parking permits & rules.

Who is eligible for a blue badge?

There is set criteria which can qualify you for a blue badge however in some instances you can automatically qualify based on specific circumstances. If any of the below circumstances apply, then you will automatically be eligible for a blue badge permit.

  • You currently receive a higher rate of the mobility component from Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • You are not able to walk more than 50 meters and as a result you receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • You are registered blind or severely sight impaired
  • You are currently receiving the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
  • You have received a lump sum benefit within tariff levels 1 to 8 of the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces (Compensation) Scheme and have been certified as having a permanent and substantial disability that causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking
  • You currently get the mobility component of PIP and have obtained 10 or more points specifically for descriptor E under the ‘planning and following journeys’ activity.

There may also be other circumstances which might qualify you for a blue badge which we’ve listed below although these do not automatically qualify you for a disability parking permit.

  • You are not able to walk without a mobility aid around your home
  • You cannot walk outside without the use of a mobility scooter or mobility aid
  • Your lifestyle is heavily impacted due to breathlessness when walking
  • You have a terminal illness which prevents you from walking or you already have a completed DS1500 form
  • You have a child who has a medical condition which requires bulky medical equipment to be carried around in a vehicle
  • You suffer from severe anxiety which could be heightened if in a public/open space such as a multi-story carpark

In some cases, you will however need to provide evidence of your disability if you fall into the above category however this will be at the discretion of your local council.  If you are required to provide more information or supporting evidence your local council will contact you to schedule a free of charge mobility assessment; this is usually performed by a healthcare professional such as a physiotherapist.

How can I apply for a blue badge?

Applying for a blue badge permit can be done online or you can do this in person via your local council. If you’d like to apply for a parking permit online you can do so by using the Government Gateway service.

If you’d like to fill in a form and return it to your local authority you can also get there details online via the Government Blue Badge Scheme Portal you will however need to provide certain information when applying for or renewing your blue badge permit.

The information required as standard for any application includes:

  • The details of your current Blue Badge (if you have one)
  • A digital or signed photo
  • Your National Insurance number
  • Proof of identification
  • Proof of residency

In some cases, there also maybe an application charge which will also need to be provided when you’re applying for your disability permit. This charge in England is currently charged at a statutory maximum fee of £10.

Blue Badge FAQ’s

  • What is the criteria for a blue badge?

You should automatically qualify for a blue badge if you have met any of the criteria outlined by the government. However, if you do not meet this criteria you can also apply to your local council providing information on your disability.

  • What are the concessions you get as a badge holder?

Depending on your overall circumstances you might also be eligible for extra concessions such as being exempt from road tax, road tolls and also have the ability to access town centres where road vehicles might otherwise be restricted.

  • Do you need to renew your blue badge?

You are legally required to re-apply for a blue badge once yours has expired, blue badges typically last for up to 3 years. You must re-apply for a badge prior to yours expiring.

  • What benefits can I claim with a blue badge?

The most common benefits of having access to the blue badge scheme is the ability to park closer to amenities within local areas without having to pay for parking or being restricted by time.

  • Where can I get a blue badge scheme application form?

You can apply for your blue badge online via the Government website or by contacting your local authority who will also be able to provide you with the form needed.

  • Is each council different?

Yes although the main scheme runs across the whole of the UK each council will have different restrictions in place so if you’re traveling we advise you check with that local parish around any restrictions they may have in place.

Using your blue badge

When using your blue badge permit it’s important to ensure you have displayed this correctly within your vehicle and it can be seen clearly by any traffic wardens or local council workers. Your blue badge must be open and on display, usually the best place for this is showing it on the dashboard so all the details of your parking permit can be easily seen.

Anyone who fails to produce a blue badge when asked, by any of the following: police officer, warden or parking attendant will be causing an offence and as such could be prosecuted.

Misusing your Blue Badge

Miss using your disabled parking permit is a serious offence and if caught using your badge in a manor not outlined by your local authority it could be taken away and your eligibility for the scheme could be removed preventing any future applications.

If you are found to be miss using your disability permit you can also be fined up to £1,000. If you no longer qualify for the scheme or you are the next of kin for someone who has recently passed away who had a blue badge, then this will also need to be returned.