Disabled Parking Badges (Blue Badge Scheme)
The Blue Badge Scheme is a national arrangement of parking concessions for people with severe walking difficulties who travel either as drivers or passengers. The scheme also applies to registered blind people,and people with very severe upper limb disabilities who regularly drive a vehicle but cannot turn the steering wheel by hand.
The scheme allows badge holders to park close to their destination, but the national concessions apply only to on-street parking. The Blue Badge enables you to park in disabled bays in council or private car parks for which there may be a charge. Badges are only issued to people who meet the eligibility criteria, not to relatives or carers. They can however be used in any car the badge holder is driving or is a passenger in.
The eligibility criteria for Blue Badges are set by law. The local authority makes the assessment and the final decision on eligibility for the blue badge: this cannot be decided by a GP, although evidence of your disability from your GP will be required.
You will be automatically eligible for a Blue Badge if you receive:
• The Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (you will be asked to provide a copy of the letter confirming that you receive the allowance or vehicle excise duty exception certificate)
• War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement or been assessed as having a permanent and substantial disability by Service Personnel & Veterans Agency, and have been awarded a benefit under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (you will be asked for a copy of documentation confirming this)
• You have a vehicle supplied under the Motability Scheme
• You regularly drive but have a disability in both arms and cannot turn the steering wheel by hand or cannot use a parking meter
You may also qualify if you:
• Cannot walk far because you have a permanent disability
• Have a child under 3 who needs bulky medical equipment or treatment
• Represent an organisation that transports disabled people
You do not qualify if you have a mental illness, learning difficulties or behavioural problems unless this gives you permanent difficulty in walking. You do not need to be registered disabled to apply for a Blue Badge. However, you must meet the criteria to apply. Blue badges are only issued to people with permanent disabilities.
Other types of Blue Badge application
Applications for people with a terminal illness will be fast tracked. You can only apply through your GP, specialist community nurse or palliative care nurse. No photograph, signature or fee will be requested for these applications.
Organisations applying for a Blue Badge must be transporting disabled people who would qualify individually.
Cost of a Blue Badge and how to renew it
There is a charge of £10 for a Blue Badge which is normally valid for up to 3 years. You will be sent a reminder to re-apply for your badge six – eight weeks before it expires. You may also purchase a disabled sticker for your rear view window if you wish (for £1 from Bournemouth Borough Council if you live in Bournemouth) from a motor accessory store (if you live in Dorset County Council area).