Government consults on disabled parking badges
Charities welcome consultation on parking for people with conditions such as dementia and autism
The blue badge scheme, formally known as the Disabled Persons Parking Badge Scheme, allows people who have disabilities various concessions and privileges relating to parking.
Currently, about 2.4 million disabled people in England have a blue badge, allowing them to park on roads without charge, and normally without time limit. Around 75% of blue badge holders say they would go out less often if they didn’t have the badge.
The government says that it has become clear through correspondence from the public that the application of the blue badge scheme to people with non-physical disabilities is not clearly understood or administered consistently.
It says the proposed changes are designed to clarify the regulations and guidance, ensuring that any equality issues are addressed and that there is parity for physical and non-physical disabilities.
The National Autistic Society has welcomed the proposals. Sarah Lambert, Head of Policy at the National Autistic Society, said: "There are an estimated 700,000 autistic people in the UK and whilst every person on the autism spectrum is different, for some, not being able to park in a predictable place close to a destination can cause a great deal of anxiety and put their safety at risk. Some autistic people can experience too much information from the environment around them on public transport, while other autistic people might not be aware of dangers on the road."
The consultation period runs until 18 March 2018. Charities and individuals can give their views by responding to the consultation online.