A 21st Century makeover for the Blue Badge Scheme

Proposals to increase the reach of the Disabled Parking (Blue Badge) scheme to more people who need it and make it easier to take action against those who steal, forge or fraudulently use a Blue Badge have today been put out for consultation by Transport Minister Rosie Winterton.

The consultation contains proposals to ensure that parking close to essential amenities and services continues to be available to those that need it most.

The last review of the Blue Badge Scheme took place almost a decade ago and this consultation offers the opportunity to make sure the Blue Badge Scheme is fit for purpose in the 21st century.

Rosie Winterton said: "The Blue Badge Scheme was designed to increase the mobility and independence of disabled people and today I am proposing that we extend its reach to help more people, including a greater number of parents who have to transport bulky medical equipment with their children and people with severe autism.

"The Government is also determined to take action against those who forge, steal or fraudulently use a Badge. That is why I want to hear people's views about ways of making the Badge more secure and better ways of taking immediate action against Blue Badge cheats who steal, forge or use a Badge they are not entitled to.

"All councils should operate high standard Blue Badge schemes. That is why I have launched a £500,000 fund, along with new guidance, to highlight good practice and help councils learn important lessons from one another." The proposals include:

  • Extending the reach of the scheme, for example, ensuring more parents of severely disabled children are eligible for a Badge;
  • Giving parking attendants the power to confiscate on the spot Blue Badges that have been stolen, forged or are being fraudulently used;
  • Improving the security of the badge design to prevent forgeries;
  • Creating a system of national data sharing, to identify blue badge cheats;

The consultation also asks if individual local authorities should be given the opportunity to run the Scheme in a way that responds to local circumstances.

24 January 2008 Staff

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