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Disabled Parking: Your Rights

By: Jennie Kermode - Updated: 1 Jul 2019 | 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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Recently parked in a Adur District carpark and on return had recieved a PCN I was parked on a disabled bay with blue badge showing ,having parked at this location before only to learn that the council now charge Blue Badge holders the same as every one else ,I was totaly unaware and the change had been made in January evidently ,is it worth appealing ,thanks in advance..
Pete - 1-Jul-19 @ 10:16 AM
My husband took me to hospital in Manchester. We parked in a disabled bay which we double checked was 'free'. We displayed my blue badge. We got a parking fine through the post and just thought it was an error. We wrote back and explained I had displayed my blue badge. They wrote back saying that I still had to pay as the parking space was for ramped blue badge holders. I didn't even know there were different categories of blue badge. I haven't paid up yet as I'll take it further. This does mean the fine will be doubled if my Appeal is unsuccessful.
ArtAngel - 29-Jun-19 @ 6:14 PM
I read the blue badge advice re on street parking pay zones. I have a blue badge and have parked in such zones displaying my badge and have been fined. The zones are in my local town. Has the council therefore acted illegally or is your information incorrect?
Beth - 28-Jun-19 @ 3:32 PM
There are no rights for disabled here where I live near Armagh n.ireland I have been turned down for a disabled bay, which I do qualify for
ChrisZ - 8-Jun-19 @ 3:10 PM
How long can you park in disabled space in a residential area example six or seven weeks without moving
Big M - 5-Jun-19 @ 5:21 PM
I have a blue badge live upstairs from a lady who has a badge as well there are two disabled spaces outside the building when her boyfriend turns and my car is not there he parks in the space he also has a blue badge can two people out the same house use the two parking bays
Malky - 4-Jun-19 @ 7:19 PM
Parking with a blue badge at my local hospital is free but there aren’t many disabled parking bays. Could I still park for free using a regular parking bay but still use my badge?
Gidnoid - 1-Jun-19 @ 12:14 AM
We have a 45min only waiting time outside our shop can disabled people park there all day
C - 18-May-19 @ 2:44 PM
I have fought for over two years to get a disabled parking bay; although I have roomin front of my front door, the neighbour upstairs (who I approached to go halves on a dropped curb etc so we could both Parkin our front garden) went behind my back and I was not proof the consultation as the local council were not given my details to write to by his architect. Once I was told the last day of consultation by a kind council officer,I put in my complaints that I was being prevented from having parking due to his plans. The council said we had to come to an agreement to give planning permission. So he agreed to me paying half as discussed and driving up the dropped curb, over the access to my space. However he then changed his mind, and the council said there was nothing they could enforce. Hence applying for a parking space. I was then told by highways that to have it, although disabled and qualified, the two neighbours whose houses the bay would be outside of, had to agree to it. They have driveways and the space was to be put between the dropped curbs. Then Highways said nobody had agreed, so I couldn’t have it. I as disgusted that my needs that had no impact on them were totally at their decision. Yesterday a disabled bay box was seen by my carer painted on the road, where i was supposed to be having it. I went out in my chair and was so pleased. My carer was leaving in her car and I put my thumbs up and was smiling from ear to ear. I turned around in my wheelchair to go back into my house and one of the neighbours who had Been contacted called me. He said that won’t be staying there I am getting it removed, very abruptly. I asked why? He said it will make it difficult for me to get out of my drive, which I disagreeed with, there is room either side of his alreadywiser than normal dropped curb. He half shouted, and said that’s how I feel. He then said I don’t want a car parked outside my house which is a good 20 metres from the road, and then said having that space there will devalue my property. I couldn’t believe my ears. I said look I don’t want to talk to you any more;asi was feeling very hurt by his horrible comments referring to my disability needs being such an issue for him, and like I was a second class citizen. He said something to me as I drove away in my chair, and I said back it’s all about the money isn’t it. I feel that from the attitude I’ve had from highways where other neighbours are in charge of the destiny of the disabled bay; that it will,be erased. It’s hit me really hard as I’ve had tenants above me for 2years who put a gate across my access path to the rear of the 2 flats; and were deliberately stopping people bringing orders to my safe drop place. (Many days I can’t get out of bed to answer the door) they constantly hurled abuse at me saying I was lazy and nothing wrong with me, saying they paid my benefits etc etc. And did things like open my back gate to my garden or their
Lunanix - 8-May-19 @ 3:33 AM
Can anyone help.. both myself and my son are blue badge holders, for the last few years we have been using the disabled parking spaces at my sons school, they’re in their car park, we currently have no access because of building work going on so have made arrangements with the school on a temporary basis, yesterday they announced in their newsletter that they are removing access to these spaces permanently for all parents/carers!! Can they do this? Or is it a reasonable adjustment under Disability Discrimination?
Scamp - 4-May-19 @ 2:02 PM
I have a blue badge but still can not park outside my property as a local garage keeo parking outside my house.U do have a drive but my husband has a large truck so puts in on the drive so it does not cause any road traffic issues on the road.I am having to park away from my house and walk to my property which is difficult as i have a lung problem
Maggot - 1-May-19 @ 3:35 PM
My employer has two disabled parking spaces, one of which has been paid for and reserved. Is this legal? Can you reserve and pay for a disabled space? I've had a note left on my car today informing me not to park in the space, even though I have a blue badge, because the space has been reserved and paid for. The same car has been parking in this spot for months without a badge. Today is the first day a badge has been displayed. Anyone shed any light on this at all?
KW79 - 29-Apr-19 @ 4:32 PM
We do not live in the UK, nor Europe but we are coming to the UK on holiday and will travel around. My mother is over 80 and finds walking difficult. How will we be able to access a blue badge for the time we are in the UK so that we can have suitable parking. Thank you
Hoffie - 17-Apr-19 @ 4:41 PM
Across the road from me a neighbor has disability and parked her car in her drive but also outside on the road has a disability space. The council tarmac all our verges but we have a yellow line outside our house which is oppose but we can’tpark our cars on them because it says no parking between 8-6 Monday to Saturday. Is it necessary for her to have a the bay outside her house when she parks in her drive.
Doll - 22-Mar-19 @ 11:53 AM
I have a bay outside my house and in the past people have parked on the line or over it which they had the police dealt with it. An office issued a letter stating if you park on the line or in the bay , a fine or even tow the car away. I have nasty neighbours that are parking their van and car both sides of the bay on the line. My bay faces the house and not outside lengthways. Now the police are saying they are allowed to park on the line?
Arsenalannie - 21-Mar-19 @ 4:21 PM
My mums disabled . I do her shoppinghelp her. There a pay display only place to park .Really adds up . Asked the councilfor advice, said you just have to pay .Advice please . Thanks .
Jenine - 21-Mar-19 @ 9:16 AM
I am higher rate mobility and care I have a mobility car and a driveway however people are constantly parking across my driveway so i don't always have access either to take my car from my driveway or put it back after using it. It is causing me unnecessary stress having to confront the drivers to remove their vehicle. Is there any way I can have a no parking sign to allow meaccess at anytime to my driveway.
Scotty - 18-Mar-19 @ 7:33 AM
I don’t have a problem if neighbours need a disabled parking bay I do find it a problem when they don’t park in it which leaves parking limited I’ve adjed why but just get abuse any ideas?
Julie - 16-Mar-19 @ 6:41 PM
I'm hoping for some advice re my official recourse here. My daughter is an extremely vulnerable child (full time wheelchair user, multiple medications schedules, unpredictable seizures with a history of status & intubation/induced "coma"). Today we had (for what feels like the millionth time) someone park right behind our car, so we couldn't get the ramp down to get her in. Difference this time, is that the owner refused to move it "until she's ready". 25 minutes we waited, in the cold wind. It got heated. The local police have advised that the protocol for this would simply be that if & when it happens again (she pledged it would) we just log a routine report and if it's an emergency, call 999. It's an emergency waiting to happen all the time (not getting home in time for medication, her overheating/the cold affecting her breathing, her having a seizure I can't give medication for as I can't get her on the outside ground), but that's not what 999 is for and they've told me that no-one will come, otherwise. Feeling very anxious. Any advice?
Kerri949 - 14-Mar-19 @ 8:43 PM
I do agree that there needs to be some sort of enforcement made as far as disabled parking is concerned. I find that there is a general hostility and resentment towards 'our' parking space. My partner is disabled and we applied for a blue badge and a marked disabled badge but now and again someone without a blue badge will abuse it. Today I am blocked in a bit as the person parked in the other disabled space in front of me has parked over the line and up close to my bumper. They do not have a blue badge. The car behind me also is very close to my rear and over the line. I cannot easily get into my boot space to get the mobility scooter out and I am afraid to go anywhere today now as I know that they will both probably deliberately move their cars even closer to make it harder to get back into it. People can be so insensitive and behave quite despicably. Grown adults behaving worse than children.
sonali Ghosh - 9-Mar-19 @ 5:27 PM
I am disabled and have trouble walking. I got a disabled badge then applied for a disabled bay which I got but they didn’t put it outside my gateway and all other cars keep parking in with their disabled badges. Can’t it have a number plate or code put around the bay to stop others using it instead of applying for their own disabled bay as I’m unable to go out often but every time I do it’s like they are watching and as soon as I’m gone they park there and don’t move it.
Haggis - 27-Jan-19 @ 1:47 PM
Hi, I am due to move offices at work but the new office reserves it’s disabled bays for some individuals so even if I arrive with my blue badge I am not allowed to use them. There is no other nearby parking and I was wondering i this is allowed in a works car park?Thanks
Mak - 11-Jan-19 @ 4:36 PM
Where can you put your bluebadge permit on a motorcycle
Paddy - 5-Jan-19 @ 11:22 AM
I write on behalf my friend who in a wheelchair and just move into a new flat as she got a blue badge.. My friend try to have her car park by her front door so easy for her to unload thing from the car. But there a neighbour who also got a blue badge but he park 2 car in that space where she need to park. Well the problem is half the time he can walk and carry thing to his flat no problem and wonder if he abuse the blue badge. As he got a stick to walk buthe can walk with out them. So I after some advice before I go to report him to the people who give these blue badge. We also have video evidence of him do normal thing.
Annoy. - 28-Nov-18 @ 5:59 PM
Im so annoy how disabled bays are getting abused by non disabled people who dont have blue badges, its getting more more now soecially in supermarket car parks,my local asda & tesco shores both havefine signs but you never see anyone getting a fine & I have been with my daughter who is my carerdiffrent times of day,but these inconsiderate people seem to get away with parking in disabled bays without blue badges,I pay for my blue badge,so why do I have to pay if non disabled seem to get away with not paying& taking up a disabled person parking bay Non of the companysie parkingeye & other companies I have complained to do nothing,as a disabled person we relie on those bays. & when non disabled people Park there its hard toget out of a normal bay,the giverment, shopping supermarkets & fining places should be doing more to fine these ignorant people
Kts - 24-Nov-18 @ 1:40 PM
I've been refused a parking bay at my new address after ten years of having one since my ex husband broke my back. . Reason, lack of funds the council said. I offered to pay the bill, still refused so I have become a recluse. What can I do? I've been here 2 years and never been more miserable than I am now. I cannot park anywhere near my home 99%of the time. My neighbour has one!
Shazza - 22-Oct-18 @ 6:45 AM
My neighbour was wondering how much it is for a disabled bay to be put in outside there house, they have 2 disabled son so need to park close to the house but other people are parking in them spots even tho they live the other end of the road and want to know this so he can save up the funds and put in an application to the council
Abi - 19-Oct-18 @ 7:55 PM
I live in Scotland I work with council I was out doing a job and parked in disabled bay in white in the residential car park and the lady contacted my work place who now are looking into this she also took photos of me without me knowing ...can I park here if no one is in it or what please help
Del - 18-Oct-18 @ 12:23 PM
I'm disabled, and I have three children one which is at primary school. They have a disabled bay at school but I've been told by the business Ad in the office I can't park there because it's only for four b four cars which is her car. So she said I have to park further away now I can't walk far so I've started dumping my car in the middle of the staff car park where this bay is and the sitting in the office until my little one goes in. So she's not happy about me dumping my car there. What are the rules in this??
Bec - 17-Oct-18 @ 3:17 PM
My neighbours are parking on the pavement too close to my fence as a result I was unable to leave my property and was stuck right outside my front gate. I am in a wheelchair and cannot walk. I was not able to turn around without hitting one of the cars. Thankfully a different neighbour helped me turn around.Can I get any help to stop my neighbours parking illegally on the pavement? My house is on a corner.
Dom - 18-Sep-18 @ 8:40 PM
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