It was announced this summer that the Blue Badge disabled parking scheme will be extended to include people with non-visible disabilities such as autism and mental health conditions. The government say that the extension of the criteria is part of their drive to build a society that works for all. It is expected that changes to legislation which are needed to extend the eligibility will be brought in next year (2019).
It is hard to predict what this change in criteria will mean for the number of Blue Badges in circulation, but the department for Transport have estimated it will lead to a 6% increase in applications for a Blue Badge in the first year, which is around 53,000. Existing Blue badge holders already report difficulties finding somewhere suitable to park and without increase in parking provision, once more people become eligible, it is only going to get worse.
The Department for Transport say the impact on parking will vary from place to place, depending on factors such as location, population density, current capacity, possible capacity, and more. They have also said that councils may need to review parking provision to increase the number of spaces (both in terms of the availability of disabled parking, and the overall number of parking spaces if disabled spaces take up other existing parking spaces).
I believe councils need to start planning now how they may be able to accommodate the increase in demand for on-street disabled parking bays. Off-street parking operators also have a part to play as they too provide disabled bays and may also need to increase their provision to be ready for the increase in badge holders.
People's Parking is looking very carefully at our disabled parking accreditation criteria and working with experts in the area of mental health to ensure to accreditation meets the needs of all Blue Badge holders whatever their disability. Any updates will be communicated directly to our customers.
Posted on 08 Oct 2018 at 15:18:13