Scotland’s blue badge scheme has been extended to allow people who may have difficulties and pose a risk to themselves or others in traffic to get a badge, provided they meet eligibility criteria. People who think they might be eligible are being invited to contact their local authority.
The blue badge scheme provides an essential service for disabled people, allowing parking access that can often make the difference as to whether disabled people live their lives as fully as they can.
Some people with a diagnosed mental disorder (a legal expression including conditions like dementia, autism and Down’s syndrome) may lack awareness of danger from traffic, which is likely to compromise their safety, or the safety of others as a result. It’s these people who are covered by this extension to the Blue Badge scheme.
Iain Smith, Policy and Engagement Team Manager at Inclusion Scotland and member of the Blue Badge Working Group, said “Blue badges support independent living by enabling people who would otherwise not be able to get out and about to access facilities such as work, education, community, social or health services in the same way as others can. Inclusion Scotland therefore welcomes the extension of this pilot scheme as we work together to look towards making the scheme permanent.”
People applying for a Blue Badge under this extension need to demonstrate eligibility by completing an application form, be claiming certain social security benefits at certain rates, and getting a healthcare or social work professional to provide information about the risk posed. It’s the job of local authorities to check applications and they may ask the applicant to come for an assessment.
Local authorities are responsible for the administration and enforcement of the scheme in their area. They will provide a separate application form and assistance to apply under the pilot scheme.
A decision on permanent changes to eligibility criteria and associated rules will be made at the end of the pilot, in the Autumn.
For more information on blue badges and the rules and regulations around their use, please visit www.mygov.scot/apply-blue-badge