In the UK, the excellent Blue Badge scheme enables those with a disability to park in places that other drivers can’t and this can make a huge difference in day to day life. A Blue Badge enables a motorist or passenger with a disability to park much closer to their destination which can make arranging any trip out much easier and safer. It is linked to the individual rather than a vehicle, so it can be used in multiple automobiles.
Blue Badge holders can usually let you park for free on streets with parking meters, in disabled parking bays on the street and on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours (all for free). In addition to this, a Blue Badge holder can also ask the local council for a disabled parking spot near their home so that you never have to travel far to reach your home or the vehicle. This is particularly helpful for those that have a wheelchair accessible vehicle from somewhere like Allied Mobility as trips out can be much easier for all.
There are some limitations to having a Blue Badge however and it is important that all holders are aware of these. You will still have to follow normal parking regulations which means that you will receive a fine if you were to park somewhere dangerous, such as outside a local school. Additionally, there are certain areas where you will not be able to use the badge, including some areas of London. To find out where it is best to check at gov.uk before setting off.
In order to apply for a Blue Badge, you will need to go online and answer a few questions about your disability, check your eligibility and fill in an application form. This application will then be forward to your local council for a decision. If your application is granted, your badge needs to be clearly visible through the windscreen and if you park somewhere with a time limit you will need to set the clock on the badge to show the 15-minute period that you arrived.
Using the Badge
A Blue Badge holder can only let somebody else use the badge if the holder is in the vehicle with them or if they are picking up/dropping off the holder. Any misuse of the badge and you could be fined up to £1,000, so it is vital that the holder and anyone using the badge is aware of the rules.
The Blue Badge scheme is fantastic as it can make travel much easier and safer for those with a wide range of disabilities, but you must also know how it can be used and check ahead before parking somewhere.
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