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Blue Badge reform news

Transport for All

New measures to crack down on drivers...

New measures to crack down on drivers who abuse the disabled parking system – including a new Blue Badge design which is harder to forge – came into force on January 1st.

Disabled drivers will now be able to apply for an electronically printed badge, much like a driving licence. The new badge will have security features such as a unique hologram, digital photo and serial number allowing parking attendants to check for genuine badges more easily through the windscreen.

Other measures include:

  • shared administration between authorities;
  • being able to apply for and renew badges online using Directgov, as well as access to a new national helpline number. From April 2012 customers will also be able to report lost and stolen badges online;
  • wider use of independent mobility assessments to determine eligibility. To support this local authorities will now have control of National Health Service spend on Blue Badge assessments; and
  • extending the scheme to more disabled children under three years of age and severely disabled Armed Forces personnel and veterans; and removing residency requirements for disabled service personnel and their families who are posted overseas on UK bases.

Transport for All welcome the changes that make the system less open to abuse and give local authorities more power when it comes to confiscating misused badges.

We are however, as always, concerned about the eligibility assessments. All too often people with mobility issues and genuine entitlement to the scheme are refused or the assessments themselves can be unneccessarily invasive. Assessors can lack knowledge of the vast array of impairments that can make public transport inaccessible.

Our advocacy service will be on the look out for anyone that has difficulty renewing their Blue Badge. If you or anyone you know runs into problems, please let us know.

Further information

Transport Minister, Norman Baker, said:
“Our new Blue Badge will be as secure as a banknote and anyone thinking of faking it can forget it. We are also tightening up on enforcement and eligibility so there will be no way to scam the system.” Read article in full

Helen Dolphin, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Disabled Motoring UK, said:

“After years of campaigning for improvements to the Blue Badge Scheme, I’m delighted that changes that make the scheme fit for the 21st century have been introduced. The new badge design will stop badges being so easily forged and new guidance to local authorities will make the issuing of badges fairer. The Blue Badge is a fantastic scheme and all these changes will help ensure the scheme will only benefit those it was intended for.”

A man standing in front of a painted brick wall smiling at the camera. He is holding a cane and is wearing glasses, a black jacket and a grey t-shirt. A man standing in front of a painted brick wall smiling at the camera. He is holding a cane and is wearing glasses, a black jacket and a grey t-shirt.

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