28 Mar 2007 12:02 PM
Blue Badge Scheme - Consultation and strategic review

DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT News Release (029) issued by The Government News Network on 27 March 2007

Transport Minister Gillian Merron today announced a consultation on changes to the scheme for disabled parking badges. The new regulations will be in place by September 2007.

The main changes proposed include:

* extending the scheme to children under two who are dependent upon bulky medical equipment

* extending the scheme to people with severe congenital disabilities in both arms, so that all those with Thalidomide related disabilities would be eligible

* including a hologram on the badge as a security measure

Gillian Merron also announced a three month strategic review of the scheme, which will contribute to a comprehensive Blue Badge Reform strategy, to be published in 2008. The upcoming reforms will help make the scheme fairer, more consistent, tougher on fraud and easier to understand.

Gillian Merron said:

"The Blue Badge Scheme provides a vital lifeline to many disabled people in our communities. Without them, basic things like getting to work, going shopping or to the hospital for medical treatment would be much more difficult.

"The changes we are proposing will help ensure that Blue Badges continue to meet the needs of disabled people. We want the people who need a badge to get one, and stamp out abuse of the scheme.

Notes to Editors

1. The consultation will end on 19 June 2007.

2. 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.

3. The proposed changes in the consultation are in line with recommendations from a Disabled Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) report from 2002.

4. A forthcoming strategic review will address all the outstanding DPTAC recommendations, including the future eligibility criteria and period of badge issue.

5. Copies of the consultation package are available from:

Mobility and Inclusion Unit
Department for Transport
Zone 4/22
Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street
Tel: 0207 944 3590
Email: blue.badge@dft.gsi.gov.uk
Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/open/

6. This consultation covers England only.

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk