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Our response to the Blue Badge scheme consultation on eligibility

16 March 2018

This Department for Transport consultation examines the Blue Badge Scheme with a view to making regulations and guidance clearer for people with non-physical disabilities.

View consultation

Read DR UK response

The consultation made the following proposals for discussion:

  • amending the regulation which requires a person to “have a permanent and substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking”

  • amending the current requirement that the disability be “permanent and substantial” to “enduring and substantial”

  • that healthcare professionals other than GPs undertake mobility assessments

  • providing automatic badge eligibility to those people who receive 12 points for the ‘planning and following journeys’ activity of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment, for non-physical mobility issues

Disability Rights UK response summary

  • DR UK strongly supports the proposed new blue badge criteria outlined in the consultation to amend the criterion which relates to difficulty walking.  In effect, these criteria already operate in Scotland and Wales. Their adoption will mean that those disabled people with a severe mental health condition who live in England will rightly achieve eligibility parity with those who live in Scotland and Wales.

  • DR UK strongly agree that blue badges only go to those who clearly experience difficulty when making a journey. Also, that they should not be misused to secure parking places by those with no such disability. However, efforts to ensure the non-misuse of blue badges must be separated from the criteria for the award of a blue badges themselves.
  • DR UK strongly supports the proposal that the requirement that a mobility assessor be independent be removed – this allows a range of healthcare professionals with specific expertise (other than the applicant’s GP) to undertake the assessments.
  • DR UK strongly agrees with automatic badge eligibility for people with non-physical disabilities who score 12 points under the PIP activity ‘Planning and Following Journeys’.

  • We would also submit that if the change is not made, that following the High Court's judgment in RF v SSWP & Ors [2017] EWHC 3375 (Admin), the blue badge scheme may face a legal challenge on the grounds that it is a similar breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.