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What does the Blue Badge scheme’s extension mean?

2nd October 2019

As you become older, visiting the shops and local attractions can become difficult, especially for those who may rely on home stairlifts. However, the Blue Badge scheme has been in place for years to help those with severe mobility problems park closer to where they need to go.

In recent news, the government has announced the biggest change in the scheme in nearly 50 years as the scheme will now be extended to include those with hidden disabilities.

As published on Gov.uk, people with hidden disabilities including anxiety disorders or brain injuries can now apply for a Blue Badge. The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps comments: “We know that for some people, the possibility of not being able to find a parking space can make even leaving the house a challenge, which is why the Blue Badge is so important.

“The scheme, which is already a lifeline for so many disabled people, will make a huge difference to those with non-visible conditions such as autism, dementia, Parkinson’s and arthritis. It is my sincere wish that these changes will improve even more people’s lives.”

The change in the scheme comes as part of the inclusive transport strategy, that was published in July 2018, which aims to make the UK’s transport system inclusive and better for disabled people. The strategy focuses on three themes; awareness and enforcement of passenger rights, staff training, improving information, improving physical infrastructure and the future of inclusive transport.

For those who hope to use a Blue Badge, it’s best to check with your local council for specific details on where you can park. However, usually, you’ll be able to park for free at disabled parking bays, on-street parking and on single or double yellow lines for up to two hours unless there’s a ‘no loading’ sign. You can also ask your local council for a disabled parking space near your home.

Transport Minister Jesse Norman also comments to Gov.uk about the extension: “Blue badges are a lifeline for disabled people, giving them the freedom and confidence to get to work and visit friends independently.

“The changes we have announced today will ensure that this scheme is extended equally to people with hidden disabilities so that they can enjoy the freedoms that many of us take for granted.”

The Inclusive Transport Strategy aims to make the UK’s transport network fully inclusive by 2030. So, as well as installing a stairlift in your home, there will soon be even more ways those with disabilities can live independently.

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This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.