People's Parking have welcomed new rules that will make it easier for those with non-visible disabilities, such as autism, to obtain a Blue Badge. However, we are concerned that the new eligibility criteria are likely to lead to a significant increase in the number of disabled people eligible for Blue Badges across England. DfT has predicted that its new rules will see a six per cent increase in Blue Badge applications (53,000) in the first year, and an “initial surge” of 44,000 new badges (a five per cent increase). However, People's Parking believes there will be considerably more and we are already aware of the huge pressure on a small number of accessible bays.
The announcement of the extension to the eligibility coincided with the announcement of a new taskforce aimed at clamping down on fraud and misuse of Blue Badges, which we hope will ease the pressure on spaces.
Helen Dolphin, co-founder of the People's Parking scheme and a Blue Badge expert, welcomed the extension of the scheme but only if significant efforts were made to “sort out the fraud and misuse” in the current system. She said the new guidance and the anti-fraud taskforce “have to go hand in hand”.
People's Parking has heard from an industry expert that fake Blue Badges have been sold door-to-door in London for £100 each with Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service photograph on the back. However, the Metropolitan police said they didn't have the resources to investigate. The new taskforce will look at ensuring badges are used correctly and improving public understanding of the scheme.
Posted on 26 Jun 2019 at 16:22:37