The Blue Badge Scheme
HC 475. Sixth Report of Session 2007-08 – Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons – Transport Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
Disabled people may be missing out on special parking concessions because of where they live. This is the main finding of this report into the Blue Badge Scheme, which offers parking concessions for disabled people. It comes as the Government carries out a strategic review of the scheme.
The Committee found wide differences in the way the eligibility criteria are assessed by different local authorities. It wants to see more done to promote consistent good practice across the country.
The Committee's conclusions include:
The minimum issue period for a badge should be reduced from three years to one, to include those with short-term or temporary disabilities. 'Smart card' technology should also be developed so there can be even more flexibility over the issuing of badges.
In cases where a blue badge holder's condition is unlikely to improve they should not usually have to undergo regular three-yearly assessments but have their badge renewed automatically.
The Government should consider including central London, which currently has its own regime, in the national system.
Eligibility for a blue badge should be based on mobility in a wider sense than simply on an applicant's ability to walk. But the Government should also look to more appropriate ways of helping people with other disabilities, such as bowel disease.
For those who knowingly abuse the scheme there should be tougher penalties. In particular, those who use stolen badges should have their vehicles impounded. A national database should also be established to help combat fraud.
The Security Industry Authority should take steps to prevent vehicles displaying a valid badge from being clamped when they are parked on private land.
Asda was the only example given of a major national company which consistently fined people who abused its disabled bays.
The Department for Transport's guidance to Local Authorities on determining eligibility for the Blue Badge Scheme, as well as advising on the processes involved in administering the scheme, is available to buy separately (please see below).
|Format||Paperback||Published||12 Jun 2008|
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