About The Blue Badge Scheme
In the United Kingdom, the Blue Badge scheme was originally introduced by the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act of 1970. The scheme used Orange Badges at first.
If a person meets certain requirements, they will be issued a badge. Most of the requirements are related to receiving disability benefits from the government, although local councils are who is responsible for the issuing of the badges.
A local authority can make a concessionary issue of badges to people who have a life long disability that doesn’t meet the more rigid requirements but are seriously impaired in terms of mobility.
In England and Wales, holders of Blue Badges are required to display a Disabled Persons Parking Disc that looks similar to a clock, unless there are signs that state otherwise. This disc must display the time the vehicle was first parked there so a time limit is able to be enforced.
If you are a badge holder from another country within the European Union, you will need to obtain a clock from the issuing office in the UK in order to validate your badge. If you fail to do so, your parked vehicle will be treated as though there has been no badge displayed.
Parking With A Blue Badge
The Blue Badge scheme does not apply if you are parking away from public roads and/or car parks under the local authority. Generally, concessions are not recognised at ports, airports or railways stations, unless the operators of these ventures have chosen to provide voluntary parking privileges.
There are certain differences in parking in local areas such as London, with some local colour schemes used instead, that can restrict the standards concessions to just local residents. An example of this would be that in Camden, the permits are green, whereas in Westminster, a white permit is issued. In these boroughs, specialist parking spaces and rules are in place for Blue Badge holders.
If you are visiting another area, it is worth checking the regulations for Blue Badge holders, as this doesn’t just apply to London, there are large towns and cities with different regulations, such as Norwich, which operates a green scheme.
Reasons You May Lose Your Blue Badge
You may lose the privilege of being a Blue Badge holder is you misuse or abuse the advantages a Blue Badge brings. An example of misuse would be someone wrongfully using a relatives badge, such as parking a vehicle in a designated Blue Badge holder spot without the badge holder being present or with them. Abuse of a Blue Badge can include the use of a fake or altered Blue Badge.
How To Report Blue Badge Misuse And Abuse
The result of misuse or abuse of a Blue Badge can results in very heavy fines or even imprisonment. If you suspect someone of misusing or abusing a Blue Badge, you should report it to your local council.
Before reporting someone to your local council, you should try to collect as much information as you can beforehand, such as the name and address of the person, or a clear description if you can’t get this information. A description would include things like the approximate age and height of the person, as well as their general appearance and place of work if possible.
Other useful information includes the registration of the vehicle, as well as a description of it, including any distinguishing features such as stickers, logos or scratches and dints. If it is a routine thing, you should also make a note of the location that they park in and the approximate time.