Changes to improve and
update the blue badge disabled persons' parking scheme
TRANSPORT News Release (118) issued by The Government News Network
on 13 September 2007
Rosie Winterton today announced a series of changes to update the
Blue Badge disabled persons' parking scheme and make it
tougher on fraud.
The changes, which come into force on 15 October 2007, include:
* extending the scheme to children under two who, because of
their specific medical conditions, need to travel with bulky
medical equipment or be close to a vehicle for emergency medical
treatment. This will include children who suffer from hip dysplasia.
* amending the design of the badge, including the addition of a
hologram, to help prevent fraud and aid enforcement.
* extending the scheme to include people with severe disabilities
in both arms who drive non-adapted vehicles regularly but are
unable to operate parking meters, such as people with
Rosie Winterton said:
"The Blue Badge Scheme gives many disabled people the
freedom to get to work, do their shopping and access vital services.
"The changes we are announcing today extend the scheme to
children under two who need to travel with bulky medical equipment
and to people whose disabilities mean they can drive non-adapted
cars but cannot operate parking meters. These changes will ensure
that the scheme continues to help those disabled people who need
the Blue Badge concession most. The addition of a hologram to the
badge will also help to prevent fraud and misuse.
"We listened to what people told us during our recent
consultation and as a result are including children who suffer
from hip dysplasia in the new under-twos category. I hope this
will help ease some of the difficulties the families of these
"These changes will come into force on 15 October, when
local authorities will also start issuing the new badges including
a hologram to prevent fraud.
"In addition, a strategic review of the Blue Badge Scheme is
being carried out and will report to me later this month. This
will lead to the publication of a comprehensive reform strategy by
April 2008 which will help us continue to improve the scheme,
making it fairer, more consistently administered and easier to understand."
The strategic review of the Blue Badge Scheme is looking at a
wide range of issues including future eligibility criteria and
whether people with temporary disabilities should qualify for the scheme.
Notes to Editors
1. The Disabled Person's Parking Badge Scheme ("the
Blue Badge Scheme") was introduced in 1971 to provide a
national arrangement of on-street parking concessions for disabled
people, allowing them to access goods and services more easily.
2. The Department for Transport announced a series of proposed
changes to the Blue Badge Scheme, as well as a strategic review of
the scheme, on 26 February 2007.
3. A consultation on these changes was held between 29 March 2007
and 19 June 2007.
4. Following analysis of the consultation responses, it was
decided to extend the definition of children under two with bulky
medical equipment to embrace children with developmental hip dysplasia.
5. From 15 October the design of the Blue Badge will change. The
biggest single change is the introduction of an anti-fraud
hologram to help prevent forgeries. In addition, as a result of
the feedback from the consultation, the new badge will also
include a gender specific serial number to aid parking enforcement
and clearer information about the use and abuse of the scheme
directly on the badge.
6. The new legislation changes the eligibility criteria for
people with a disability in both upper limbs. Currently, drivers
with severe upper limb disabilities, who drive a car with an
adapted steering column, but cannot operate a parking meter, are
eligible for a badge. However, the new definition extends this
eligibility to a small number of disabled people with severe
disabilities in both arms who can drive a standard car, but cannot
use parking meters. This will include those with
thalidomide-related disabilities and others.
7. The new regulations will come into force on 15 October 2007.
The regulations are available in full on the Office for Public
Sector Information website at http://www.opsi.gov.uk.
Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport