News & Features

The Blue Badge Eligibility Criteria has Changed

Posted in General News on Friday, August 30th, 2019

On the 30th August the Blue Badge eligibility criteria changed so that people with ‘hidden disabilities’ such as dementia, autism and a number of mental health conditions are eligible. Under the new criteria a person will receive a Blue Badge if they are certified by an expert assessor as having an enduring and substantial disability which causes them, during the course of a journey, to—

  • be unable to walk;
  • experience very considerable difficulty whilst walking, which may include very considerable psychological distress; or
  • be at risk of serious harm when walking; or pose, when walking, a risk of serious harm to any other person;

The legislation also removes the requirement of an ‘independent mobility assessor’ and this is replaced by the term ‘expert assessor’

DMUK took part in the consultation in 2018 and raised concerns over the possible effect the expansion would have on already limited disabled parking. DMUK urged the Department for Transport (DfT) to be realistic in its thinking. Just extending the criteria will not necessarily mean that more disabled people will benefit. Actually this change may have disastrous consequences for all Blue Badge holders, especially wheelchair users, as there is simply not enough parking to meet demand and concessions could soon disappear because of increased numbers.

Many organisations have welcomed this change. There is no argument that people with hidden disabilities will benefit from having a Blue Badge and DMUK also supports this. However, the increase in demand may undermine the entire scheme and render it not fit for purpose. The end result may mean it will let down the people it was originally intended to help as well as disabled people with hidden disabilities.

DMUK CEO, Graham Footer commented: “DMUK works to support the mobility of disabled people and there is no dispute that people with certain mental health conditions and cognitive disabilities could benefit from having a Blue Badge. However, the charity is very concerned that from now onwards numbers of Blue Badge holders will dramatically increase which will put more pressure on limited disabled parking which is poorly enforced and in some areas of the country not enforced at all. We are asking that all local authorities and private operators increase their disabled parking provision to meet the rising demand.”

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Paul Baker's Gravatar
Paul Baker

Monday, September, 2nd, 2019

There should be a 2 tier system. Perhaps a Blue or Yellow Badge. The Blue would be for those with severe mobility problems the yellow for all others. Blue badge abuse could be solved with on the spot fines of £150 for the first offence and prosecution to follow if the offender continues. The income for local authorities would pay for the enforcement. The cost of a court action puts many authorities from prosecution.

hpinchen's Gravatar

Tuesday, September, 3rd, 2019

Yes. This is all well and good but your organisation needs to also focus on the unfairness of parking tickets for disabled drivers. A 2015 court of apoeal case was lost because the judges did not think £85 to be excessive. They earn nearly £200,000 per year! When you are living on a tiny state pension or benefits £85 is rather a lot of money. Someone needs to bring this to court again.


Tuesday, September, 3rd, 2019

I think that the Blue Badge scheme has lost some of its credibility. I do strongly believe that we now need a two tier system overseen by expert assessors. This will help prevent some of the abuse that I see nearly every day. Enforcement needs to upgraded as well.

John Newman's Gravatar
John Newman

Wednesday, September, 4th, 2019

I am still not convinced that LG assessment for blue badge entitlement is consistent enough. The biggest problem I encounter is down to the fact that outside a traffic warden's jurisdiction, NOBODY undertakes any form of policing. This is well-known so abuse is rife.

Mike Brown's Gravatar
Mike Brown

Monday, September, 16th, 2019

I agree that there needs to be a two tier system now. Many of the 'new' people would not need the space to park a WAV like I do. I have no alternative to disabled bays and parking on the street so I can open my door fully to get out, and then unload my wheels. But it will not happen. Locally disabled bays are being removed, not added to, to make way for more taxi ranks. I rarely if ever, go into town now for this reason. I shop online, easier and safer. However, I would like to ask the question about the "expert assessors". are they going to be as competent and knowledgeable as PIP assessors. If so we do not have a good outlook here. That is still in a mess years on, I suspect this scheme will be the same. Also as someone has already pointed out, enforcement is key, but no one bothers, despite it being an offence. I myself have reported delivery vans using blue badges and I was told they were too busy to take action. By all means let those who need badges because they cannot walk far be given them. In a correctly supported structure it might actually mean that the system cared about those of us who have a disability. To not properly support the system is once again a slap in the face to all who cannot walk very far. Action is needed now before this all gets far too messy.

Elaine Pratt's Gravatar
Elaine Pratt

Thursday, September, 19th, 2019

A two tier system is vital because people like myself who rely on transferring to a wheelchair from the car will not be able to get the spaces required with the width required.

Elaine Pratt's Gravatar
Elaine Pratt

Thursday, September, 19th, 2019

It will now be vital to have a two tier system because people who need to transfer from car to chair do not have enough room in an ordinary size space.

Vanessa Rumble's Gravatar
Vanessa Rumble

Friday, September, 20th, 2019

Councils don't seem to care about disabled parking spaces. Hounslow have closed 2 large carparks , 1 to build a new civic centre and one to build hoses on. I've also been told that they will be building houses on the plot that housed the original civic centre By doing away with the carparks they no longer need to adhere to the one in ten parking spaces for disabled Don't they wqant disabled people on their high streets?

Heather Riches's Gravatar
Heather Riches

Monday, September, 16th, 2019

But they don’t need the wider access parking bays. Perhaps there needs two grades - one for those needing wider access bays and those that don’t. Please.

Ruth bourne's Gravatar
Ruth bourne

Monday, September, 16th, 2019

I can provide information on a person who ia autistic. That person is learning to dirve, but is able to travel countrywide and abroad by all forms of public transport. I am a disabled war veteran living alone, and can only maintain independence by driving locally to shop and socialise. Apart from the disabled bay I use outside my home, the nearest free parking is half a mile away. I live five minutes walk from a busy tube station and am very peturbed by the prospect of a large increase number of blue badgeholder commuters who will want to park in this road . People who are unable to walk at all or a very short way are permanently disadvantaged. Physcological difficulties such as described in the new legislation are comparatively intermittent and need a different kind of driving assessment. As for some drivers causing harm to others, this can apply to drink drivers. How do we control this hazard? They are not allowed to drive at all .