Disabled parking space

How to access disabled parking concessions across the UK

In line with recent changes to mobility allowances in the UK, the eligibility criteria for a Blue Badge has changed. We asked independent mobility consultant Helen Dolphin MBE to explain this in a bit more detail and provide a roundup of what you need to do to check whether you’re eligible for a Blue Badge and how to apply.

The Blue Badge scheme is a nationally recognized on-street parking scheme for disabled people and helps those with mobility difficulties park close to where they need to go. A Blue Badge is for the benefit and use of the Blue Badge holder only and must only be displayed if the disabled person is travelling in the vehicle as a driver or passenger. Although this is a UK-wide scheme, the rules on how and where a blue badge can be used differ but you can download a copy of the Blue Badge booklet issued by the Department for Transport on the gov.uk website.

Previously, if you were in receipt of the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance(HRMC DLA) you were automatically entitled to qualify for a Blue Badge. But with Personal Independence Payment (PIP) the criteria for qualifying for a Blue Badge is different and focuses on the moving around element of the award. However back in January, the government announced a consultation to review the eligibility criteria for the Blue Badge scheme for people in receipt of the Higher Rate Mobility Component of PIP. The results of the consultation are yet to be announced, but you can check your eligibility for a blue badge using an online tool on the gov.uk website.

Find out more about the allowances used on the Motability Scheme

A blue badge is usually issued for three years, but this may be for less if your mobility allowance is for a shorter period of time. If you already have a blue badge you should check with your local authority how long before the expiry date you should apply to renew.

The Blue Badge scheme

The Blue Badge scheme is administered by local authorities and the Motability Scheme has no involvement with the administration or running of the Blue Badge scheme. Any queries about this should be directed to your local council.

A blue badge is usually issued for three years, but this may be for less if your mobility allowance is for a shorter period of time. If you already have a blue badge you should check with your local authority how long before the expiry date you should apply to renew.

The Blue Badge scheme is administered by local authorities and the Motability Scheme has no involvement with the administration or running of the Blue Badge scheme. Any queries about this should be directed to your local council.

What you’ll need to apply

The application process is slightly different depending on where you live. You can apply online at gov-uk/apply-blue-badge for mainland UK, mygov.scotin Scotland and nidirect.gov.ukin Northern Ireland.

You’ll need details of your current blue badge (if you have one), a digital or signed photo, your National Insurance number, proof of identity and proof of address. The application can take up to 45 minutes, but you can save this part way through and come back to it at a later time if you need to.

The application process and timescales can differ slightly across different regions, so you should contact your local council directly for the finer details.

Toll roads and congestion schemes in the UK

For most toll roads and congestion schemes in the UK a concession is offered to disabled people provided they meet certain criteria set by the operators. It is always advisable to check what the criteria are beforehand. For a short summary of the majority of toll roads in and across the UK, looking at the qualifying criteria and how to apply, you can read Helen Dolphin’s article on Toll road and congestion scheme charges across the UK.

About the Motability Scheme

The Motability Scheme enables disabled people to get mobile by exchanging their mobility allowance (such as the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment or the Higher Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance) to lease a new vehicle. You can choose from a huge range of cars, scooters, powered wheelchairs or Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, all of which come with our fully inclusive lease package, so you can get on the road and enjoy everyday freedom: it’s simple, affordable, and reliable. If you’d like us to send you more information about the Motability Scheme, request an information pack below.

Request an information pack

Keep up to date with all the latest Scheme news

If you’d like to receive all the latest news and information about the Motability Scheme straight to your inbox, you can sign up to receive the Motability Scheme e-newsletter each month.

To add your email address or update a previous email address, simply head to update your details and add us to your safe senders list to make sure it doesn’t get filtered as spam.

Read more articles like this

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) explained: Eligibility, rates, reassessment and more

People with ‘hidden disabilities’ could get Blue Badges

The difference between DLA and PIP: What you need to know

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