Tips for the Blue Badge Scheme

28th April 2011

Blue Badges are for people with disabilities and allows them to park nearby where they need to go.

Amendments to the Blue Badge Scheme over the next year
the maximum fee a badge will increase from £2 to £10. The fee is set by the local councils.
the look of the badge will change to make it harder to copy and aid enforcement
more members of the armed forces and disabled children will qualify for a Blue Badge
The application of the scheme differs across the UK. The information on this page relates to England unless specified.

In England, Blue Badge holders may generally park:

on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours however this does not apply where in loading and unloading bays
Free at ‘on-street’ parking meters and pay-and-display machines, no limits apply on times

The above rules do not apply to private off-street car parks or roads and at most airports.

The scheme does not fully apply in four central London boroughs, who offer their own parking concessions:

The UK has agreed informal parking arrangements with other European Union (EU) countries, so you may be able to use the Blue Badge abroad.See the EUs own information booklet about using the Blue Badge in European countries.

In non-EU countries, you should take the badge with you and ask whether you are entitled to use it.
If an enforcement officer asks to see your Blue Badge, you must show it to them. Failure could be fined up result in a fine upto £1,000.Enforcement officers are not allowed to take away a Blue Badge unless accompanied by a police officer.
Blue Badges are the property of local councils, who can take them away if they are misused.

The Blue Badge is for your personal use only, it is an offence to allow other people to use the Blue Badge to:

do something on your behalf such as shopping whilst you stay at home
allow friends or family to park for free even if they are visiting you
let non-disabled people take advantage of the benefits while you sit in the car
It is not illegal for a Blue Badge holder, or non-badge holder waiting for the Blue Badge holder to return, to remain in the vehicle with the badge displayed. However, you should consider using a car park whenever possible.

The maximum fine for someone convicted of misuse is £1,000

If you think that a Blue Badge is being misused you should:

get as many details as possible from the badge on display
report the matter to your local council, who will investigate and take action