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Disabled Parking: Your Rights

By: Jennie Kermode - Updated: 26 May 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 was in town with my son who has a blue badge I parked my car in a parking bay and went to a couple of shops the time we had finish my son wasn't feeling to good I went back to the car and left my son at a café as his legs were all swollen up and could hardly walk. when I got back to the car there was a traffic warden therehe saw me running to the car he challenged me about the blue badge. I told him my son was a couple of streets away as he's unwell and couldn't walk because of the pain in his legs. the traffic warden started getting quiet cheeky towards me I got in the car and he said he was reporting me for misuse of the badge I told him to do what he wants I took his number of his badge encase anything came in the post regarding the matter. am I allowed to do this or am I in the wrong?
Davie - 26-May-17 @ 5:40 AM
Amen - Your Question:
I've tried to get a disabled parking bay outside our terraced house for my husband who is unable to walk very far.the local authority have said that as I am on the car insurance we are eligible as I can stop and drop him off and go and park but he's able to drive himself and go out in the car on his own so what happens if he comes home and someone parked outside!?any advice please!?

Our Response:
Disabled parking spaces outside houses are only advisory, not mandatory. As a rule, most people stick to the rules, but if they don't there is little you can do.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 24-May-17 @ 2:59 PM
I have just received a civil parking charge notice for overstaying in Lidl car park Partick Glasgow allowed duration of stay 1hr 30 mins I stayed 1hr 47mins. My sister is a blue badge holder as she is disabled I pick her up on a Tuesday and take her for shopping I parked in a disabled Bay at Lidl and displayed her blue badge she is slow walking so it takes longer to go round the supermarket do I need to pay this charge I'm a pensioner as is she I thought you were allowed to stay longer if you have a blue badge I am going to appeal but am I in the right? Regards
Betts - 22-May-17 @ 7:36 PM
I've tried to get a disabled parking bay outside our terraced house for my husband who is unable to walk very far.the local authority have said that as I am on the car insurance we are eligible as I can stop and drop him off and go and park but he's able to drive himself and go out in the car on his own so what happens if he comes home and someone parked outside!?any advice please!?
Amen - 20-May-17 @ 2:56 PM
@Sheila and @ Jonny - sometimes the disability is not visibly apparent - but they are still classified by their GP or medical assessment as disabled. Anyone can park in a disabled bay. You can too if you like as disabled bays are advisory, not mandatory. Jon
JT - 17-May-17 @ 12:06 PM
IF THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU YOU WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR A DISABLED PARKING BAY OR A BLUE BADGE. YOU SHOULD NOT DEPRIVE THOSE WHO ARE DISABLED OF ESSENTIAL FACILITIES.
SHEILA - 16-May-17 @ 10:18 PM
Hi. How does someone with nothing wrong with them, get a disabled bay and blue stickers??And is their partner allowed to park their motorbike in the said bay as well?
Jonny - 13-May-17 @ 12:32 PM
hi I am not disabled but I get confused with the signs, we have one in our town which states disabled badge holder only Mon-Sat 8am -6pm 2 hrs no return with one hr does that mean that abled bodied can park there out of those hours , I have searched the net but cannot find the answer
ang1955 - 12-May-17 @ 6:16 PM
hi I am not disabled but I get confused with the signs, we have one in our town which states disabled badge holder only Mon-Sat 8am -pm 2 hrs no return with one hr does that mean that abled bodied can park their out of those hours , I have searched the net but cannot find the answer
ang1955 - 12-May-17 @ 6:14 PM
@Debbie - write to head office and complain. Using a disabled space to store saleable items should not be allowed! That's shocking. Liz.
ER - 10-May-17 @ 10:12 AM
Hello we took my disabled son to The Range this morning. The Store are using 2 of their 6 disabled parking bays as extra sales space and have filled them with pallets of compost! I spoke to the (office)Manager and he informed me it would 'only be for a month or so'and seemed to think they can do whatever they like with their disabled spaces!!!Surely this cannot be correct?
Debbie - 9-May-17 @ 12:54 PM
Bigmarsh74 - Your Question:
Hi my mother in law now lives with us due to losing her eye site.she is waiting on a blue badge and a bay outside the house.once installed can anyone with a blue badge park in it or is it just for us as there are a couple of awkward neighbours in the st.

Our Response:
As a rule, disbled bays outside a person's house are advisory, not mandatory. This means anyone can park there. Most people do respect disabled bay signage. However, if a neighbour chooses not to, there will be little recourse to complain.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 5-May-17 @ 2:11 PM
Hi my mother in law now lives with us due to losing her eye site.she is waiting on a blue badge and a bay outside the house.once installed can anyone with a blue badge park in it or is it just for us as there are a couple of awkward neighbours in the st.
Bigmarsh74 - 4-May-17 @ 8:11 PM
Hi My father has a disabled badge in SW London. We have it in the car so we van park oitside his/our home. It is a permit or pay at machine parking. Is yhis acceptable so we can take him out etc?
B - 3-May-17 @ 4:34 PM
We have just got permit parking in our road .i registered at the council taking my husbands blue badge .they said we will not have to pay.We put the badge in the windscreen but closing the door it must have slid over a bit hard to see.we have been told we don't have to put the blue badge in outside your home.We do have cars broken into around here for the blue badges to be taken .As we are registered we don't understand how we got a65 pound fine last night at 5 30pm
Masilegle - 28-Apr-17 @ 6:09 PM
Gerrie - Your Question:
Hi, may I know how disabled tourists can park at disabled parking bays? We will be visiting the UK (mostly Liverpool) for a month in July, and would like to know if our standard blue badge sticker from Malaysia (just a basic sticker with no details on it) will be accepted by the various parking authorities. My daughter has a condition called spina bifida and requires use of wheelchair. I have written to Liverpool Municipal Council requesting for a temporary blue badge (for the duration of our trip only), and they replied that only EU blue badges are recognised. What about disabled tourists from other countries?Please advise. Thank you.

Our Response:
Rules related to disabled badges are different according to the country you are coming from. You can check with the authority in your own country about relative restrictions or validity. You can also see more via the link here which tells you more about reciprocity. Unfortunately, we can't give you any further information than this, as this is as far as our remit goes. I hope this helps.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 27-Apr-17 @ 9:53 AM
Hi, may I know how disabled tourists can park at disabled parking bays? We will be visiting the UK (mostly Liverpool)for a month in July, and would like to know if our standard blue badge sticker from Malaysia (just a basic sticker with no details on it)will be accepted by the various parking authorities. My daughter has a condition called spina bifida and requires use of wheelchair. I have written to Liverpool Municipal Council requesting for a temporary blue badge (for the duration of our trip only), and they replied that only EU blue badges are recognised. What about disabled tourists from other countries? Please advise. Thank you.
Gerrie - 26-Apr-17 @ 12:34 AM
Hi, my friend has the disabled blue badge for inside the car for parking spaces & shops, but how do we go about getting the one for her gate telling people no parking as disabled access required 24hrs. Thanks.
purple hair dye - 31-Mar-17 @ 7:21 PM
Hi. I have got done a disabled parking for ourselves as my dad is disabled. So he can't walk too far. One lady in the flats five houses down on the opposite side keeps taking our disabled car spot. The whole road is free parking otherwise. What do you suggest, as in do I need to ask council people to make another spot for myself will the other disabled lady is too lazy to ask the council people. Please let me know cause it's not fair on us as when we got the bay done it took a long time. I be waiting for your reply. Thanks
Alp - 29-Mar-17 @ 11:56 PM
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
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