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Extension of Blue Badge Scheme in England from 30 August 2019 to include those with hidden disabilities

02 September 2019

From 30 August 2019, people living in England with "hidden disabilities" including autism and mental health problems are set for a major boost when they can apply for blue parking badges.

Coming in to force from The Disabled Persons (Badges for Motor Vehicles) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (S.I. 2019 No. 891)  extends Blue Badge eligibility to explicitly include people who:

  • are unable to walk;
  • have very considerable difficulty whilst walking, including very considerable psychological distress; or
  • who cannot undertake a journey without there being a risk of serious harm to that person or any other person.

You are now automatically eligible for a Blue Badge if you obtained a score of 10 points in relation to the “planning and following journeys” activity on the grounds that they cannot undertake any journey because it would cause them overwhelming psychological distress.

Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK Kamran Mallick welcomed the widened eligibility to the scheme by saying:

"If we are to truly have an inclusive society that works for everyone, the Blue Badge is an essential component of this. The Blue Badge Scheme is an important and essential part of ensuring that we, disabled people, can participate and live our lives in society. With public transport not universally accessible the use of a car is essential for many. Being able to park closer to the destination is essential for badge-holders and can mean the difference between going out or not."

For more information on who can get a Blue Badge see Who can get a Blue Badge @ gov.uk.

Blue Badge concessions may be different in other parts of the UK outside England. Check with the relevant authority in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

You can apply for or renew your Blue Badge online for England and Wales @ gov.uk. Some councils also let you apply on a paper form -  contact your local council to check.