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Disabled Parking: Your Rights

By: Jennie Kermode - Updated: 22 Mar 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Disabled Blue Badge Disability Parking

Figuring out what you are and are not allowed to do with your car when you're disabled can be complicated. Many people don't realise that they don't actually need to own or drive a car in order to be covered under disability parking schemes. It's possible to get help even if you don't receive disability benefits, and you can even get special arrangements made to help you park close to your own home.

The Blue Badge Scheme

Most parts of Britain are covered by the Blue Badge scheme. This differs slightly in England, Scotland and Wales, but the basic principle is the same. You can apply for a blue badge from your local council - just call their general enquiries number or visit their website. Your blue badge will give you special parking privileges to make it easier for you to stop your car close to where you need to be.

If you are registered blind, are receiving the high rate of Disability Living Allowance for mobility or are receiving a War Pensioner's Mobility Supplement, you can get a blue badge automatically. If you are not in this situation but you do have a disability that makes it difficult to get around (including difficulty in carrying things or the need to keep heavy medical equipment close to you), you can apply for a badge on a discretionary basis. You can use your badge in any car.

You don't need to be the driver of a car to use your blue badge, as long as you are travelling in it. It must be clearly on display at all times when you are parked. If you ride a motorbike you can get a special secure permit holder to keep it safe.

Local Badge Schemes

Some major cities have their own badge schemes to prevent congestion. These badges make special parking provisions available to local residents only. If you have a blue badge, however, you can still park in the specially designated blue badge parking spaces in these cities.

In Northern Ireland, a blue badge will give you access to some areas but you will need a white badge for others. This single scheme applies across the whole of the country.

Where You Can Park

A blue badge will let you park in registered blue badge parking spaces. You can park anywhere that there is an on-street parking meter or a pay and display machine without having to pay, for as long as you want. You can park on single or double yellow lines as long as there are no signs prohibiting loading and unloading, but in England and Wales you are only allowed to do this for up to three hours at a time.

Some private car parks operate special rules for blue badge holders; for instance, supermarkets may have reserved parking spaces close to their entrances. Sometimes private car parks offer free parking to badge holders where they charge other users, but you will have to check the rules on entering them. Disabled drivers have no automatic right to use private car parks for free.

Blue badge access does not apply at most airports but some have their own special facilities for disabled travellers arriving by car. Your travel agent will be able to help you clarify this in each case.

Parking Near Home

If your disability means that you need to park close to your home, your local council can help. If you live in an area where everybody parks on the street, you can arrange to have a special disabled parking space created for your car or for a car driven by somebody living at your address who helps you get around.

If you have private parking at your home but can't always access it because of how other people park, you can ask the council to mark the street as an access route. If your disability means you can no longer use the parking facilities on your property, you can apply for a reserved on street parking space.

Parking Abroad

Parking arrangements for disabled people vary a great deal around the world, but in the EU the rules are starting to be standardised. You can now use a blue badge in most EU countries. Your travel agent should be able to help you clarify the rules for particular destinations.

Blue badges are also accepted in some countries outside the EU. Some American states now recognise them, but as a rule it is best to apply for a temporary visitor's disabled access permit in each state you intend to visit.

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[Add a Comment]
I live in Scotland in a bus route road So only parking is allowed on one side of the road. If someone has parked in the only disabled bay in the road and gone into hospital for 5 months and i cannot get parked near my home and am disabled What are the rules
Herbie - 22-Mar-17 @ 11:59 AM
I am a disabled person visiting Bristol for 10 days. We travelled down all the way from Warrington inCheshire. However when we arrived here with our caravan we realised we had left my Blue Badge in the other car ! So have come here to Bristol without it !! This is going to cause us a lot of problems as I cannot walk very far we have a wheelchair with us but without our blue badge we will find it difficult for obvious reasons . Is there anything that can be done ? Would Bristol Council be able to help me ? Please could you possible advise me what to do. I cannot drive home as it is over a 3 hour drive away !! Many thanks
His Lordship - 20-Mar-17 @ 7:41 PM
Hiya... my neighbour had to sell her car due to loosing control of the wheel outside her house & smashing other cars. She is no longer allowed to drive & DVLA has been contacted. she has a disabled parking spot & we all struggle on the street to park can you tell me if this parking bay can get removed now that she cannot drive.
agnes - 19-Mar-17 @ 10:17 AM
My husband is recovering from cancer ,holds a blue badge and yesterday received a parking ticket for parking in the local doctor's surgery carpark. I rang the practice manager and she informed me that the carport is for staff only. The ticket stated he had parked in a yellow line (no yellow lines in the carpark) surgery set of a main road no disabled spaces available surely this is wrong. I don't know if staff pay tax on their parking spaces as this is a perk and nhs staff are not allowed them .
Nanna - 17-Mar-17 @ 9:19 AM
Our local town council has said that from April 1st it will charge blue badge holders the same as everyone else when parking in the town's council-owned car parks. Is this legal?
Daizee - 11-Mar-17 @ 6:12 PM
hi I live on a street were my side is double yellows so parking is a nightmare after observing who parks where I noticed across road have a drive but no car it's a bought house my neighbour parks on there drive so I park in front of them there's no problem until now the lady has displayed a disabled badge on her wall she doesn't own a car or if she does I've never seen it in 3 month I lived here what are my rights ??
nic - 6-Mar-17 @ 7:48 AM
Confused - Your Question:
I have a designated parking area outside my house. I have ascertained that in order to use it I have to display my blue badge. Can I be penalised if I forget to display my badge?Thank you

Our Response:
It depends on whether your space is advisory or mandatory. Anyone can park in an advisory designated space, therefore ticketing wouldn't apply. However, it's always advisable to display your blue badge. When you were allocated it, you should have be given a leaflet from your council explaining how to use it. If you haven't got one, or have mislaid it, you can download a copy from GOV.UK.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 2-Mar-17 @ 2:22 PM
I have a designated parking area outside my house. I have ascertained that in order to use it I have to display my blue badge. Can I be penalised if I forget to display my badge?Thank you
Confused - 1-Mar-17 @ 4:45 PM
Hey. I work nights in a supported living house and a result park on a nearby side street on Double Yellow lines with the Blue Badge. I have been getting hassle from a local resident about doing so. What I am wanting to know is; Is it legal to move/turn your car every three hours and park it exactly where it was. Any info/advice would be appreciated.
Disgruntled employee - 25-Feb-17 @ 10:00 AM
Tiggy - Your Question:
I have parked on a single yellow line outside my mother's who has lived there over 20yrs but now have had 2 parking tickets in less than a week and the enforcement ars saying I am not allowed to park there unless was unloading is this true ?

Our Response:
Yes, according to the Highway Code you shouldn't wait or park on yellow lines ‘during the times of operation’. These times of operation will be displayed nearby. The exception is that loading and unloading is permitted on single yellow lines provided you do not cause an obstruction.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 21-Feb-17 @ 11:22 AM
I have parked on a single yellow line outside my mother's who has lived there over 20yrs but now have had 2 parking tickets in less than a week and the enforcement ars saying i am not allowed to park there unless was unloading is this true ?
Tiggy - 20-Feb-17 @ 11:03 AM
Can you park in access only street with a blue badge?
Sue - 17-Feb-17 @ 4:37 PM
@faz - unfortunately you can't enforce this. You can only hope your neighbours will respect this, but if they don't there is not much you can do. Luckiliy in my road people don't park in my space -it would be a logistical nightmare if they did! MM
Mags - 14-Feb-17 @ 2:07 PM
On my disabled blue badge parking space outside my house, I don't get chance to park my own car, someone else cars are parked most of the time. What should I do
faz - 13-Feb-17 @ 6:44 PM
i would see if it had road tax, if not report, cars , vans can park on the road if road taxed,you could ask politly for it to be moved but the owner dont have to if it is taxed
bren - 8-Feb-17 @ 8:28 PM
I pick my nana up at least twice a week to take her out she is 80 year old and struggles walking. There has been a van belonging to neighbors parked right out side her house for months without moving which means I have to park down the road sometimes not on the same road can I ask them to move it.
Becky - 4-Feb-17 @ 4:11 PM
You don't need a blue badge if the disabled parking bay is on private land.I am disabled but haven't got a blue badge. I have parked in the disabled parking bay near my block of flats and got some stick from local tenants. I told them to mind their own business. I read about it with my local council and they stated off road disabled parking cannot be enforced. Our block of flats now belongs to a housing association, not with the council. I am disabled and i'm still going to park there.
Waasifah - 1-Feb-17 @ 8:28 PM
I have a query that I can't seem to find an answer too. I live in a block of 6 flats and there is 4 parking spaces which are for residents only. 2 of these are for disabled. The disabled parking area is just white dashed lines with the words ..disabled...written on edge of white lines. There are also signs up clearing stating that the parking spaces ( all 4 ) are for residents only. The rest of the road is double yellow lines both sides of the road. Our problem is, there is a play centre opposite the flats and visitors are always parked in our spaces. I myself am registered disabled but do not drive however my mum who regularly visits is severely disabled and parks in one of the disabled spots. Remember our parking bay is for residents and their visitors, yet there are some who go to this play centre who park in the disabled area. Some have a blue badge some do not. I know that those without a blue badge are parking illegally but what rights do we have concerning the other spaces and those with blue badges..can anyone use the residents parking spaces ? Also can any blue badge holder park in the allocated disabled spaces ?
Shazza - 29-Jan-17 @ 4:25 PM
sorry, should have stated she has 3 hours on her badge.
miffed - 23-Jan-17 @ 7:32 PM
my disabled mother stayed in a carpark run by ukcps , for 2hrs 50m, although the limit was 2 hours. she was not in a disabled bay. she has been issued with a ticket and a £100 fine , which drops to £50 if paid straight away. any thoughts. thanks.
miffed - 23-Jan-17 @ 7:30 PM
Hi My neighbours mum parks her car all day heresome times and out side my window blue badge too showing... able to walk to other neighbours place ..it's on orbit land can she do it ..she able to walk to and from other house so y can't she park in spaces given ..mis using it blue badge ????
K - 11-Jan-17 @ 9:41 PM
Tinsut - Your Question:
(Scotland) my dad is a blue badge holder and has been parking in avresidents only car park for 12 years, he does have a small space at the front of his house but it backs onto a main road and is difficult to reverse in or out of as the road is very busy. He has been informed that he can no longer park in the residents car park as there has been a complaint by a new resident both his house and the car park are owned by the local authority, can you give any advice please.

Our Response:
I'm afraid he would have to take this up with his LA directly.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 9-Jan-17 @ 2:46 PM
(Scotland) my dad is a blue badge holder and has been parking in avresidents only car park for 12 years, he does have a small space at the front of his house but it backs onto a main road and is difficult to reverse in or out of as the road is very busy. He has been informed that he can no longer park in the residents car park as there has been a complaint by a new resident both his house and the car park are owned by the local authority, can you give any advice please.
Tinsut - 9-Jan-17 @ 10:34 AM
I have a neighbor who rightly has a disabled spot not a problem but she doesn't park in the bay? She parks outside it and makes it hard for everyone else to park in the area is this allowed or is she abusing the badge?
Tim - 31-Dec-16 @ 3:19 PM
Can you park in the disabled bay made for your house with the disabled badgewithout the disabled badge holder being indoors? Sometimes my mum goes out with others and I want to leave the car in the bay if I'm at home. I'm registered as her carer
C - 30-Dec-16 @ 12:44 PM
@Maz - it's up to the owners whether they are willing to allocate disabled parking - as it has nothing to do with the council in privately owner residential areas.
Nick - 16-Dec-16 @ 10:25 AM
Hi, I'm a blue badge holder and live on a private estate with residential parking for all residents. I have asked for them to assign a bay for me however it would appear that they don't have to. Can you tell me if this is legal. I ask because I live in London and many flats are private resident only parking and sometimes I cannot park close to my home? Regards maz
Maz - 15-Dec-16 @ 12:28 PM
Dear friends. I am retired due to ill health. My health has deteriated a lot in the past months and can't walk far because of pain and breathing difficulties lots of stress and anxiety and hardship. I live in a adapted disability bungalow. My self and my partner Heather have a disability parking blue badge. We can't park in the road because of opposit propertys have their own drives to their property's. At the back of our little council adapted disabillity bungalow there is a drive to garages and access to the back of property's. At the moment we park at the back on this acsess. It is not fair on people because our cars are in their way and we have to move our cars every time people want acsess to the back of their property's. We asked the council if they would convert the back garden into a parking area and that would solve all problems for us and local people near our property. We have been in touch with our council and had a visit from the social services and month ago. We received a letter last week turning us down because we both can get to our cars. No consideration for my health or my partner. I think this is disgustingly and unconsiderat to our health and disability. Please reply. Thank you. Arfon...
Arfon - 13-Dec-16 @ 11:16 AM
@nick - if a person is disabled and the bay is not being used at that time, then another disabled blue badge holder can park in it. Gel.
GNC56 - 12-Dec-16 @ 3:03 PM
Spooney - Your Question:
If you have a disabled bay outside your house but do not have a car anymore can you stop other people parking there.

Our Response:
Advisory bays that are marked with the word DISABLED, but they don’t have a restriction plate showing the blue disabled symbol accompanying them can’t be enforced and no action can be taken against anyone else who parks there. You would have to contact your local authority if the disabled space is no longer in use, or if you no longer have a car, or a blue badge. If you continue to display the badge when you or a family member no longer needs it, your family member can be fined up to to £1,000.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 12-Dec-16 @ 2:46 PM
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