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Disabled Parking: Your Rights

By: Jennie Kermode - Updated: 25 Apr 2018 | 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]
San - Your Question:
If you are disabled but do not have a blue badge, are you allowed to park in a disabled space

Our Response:
Unless you have a blue badge, then you have no official rights to park in a disabled space.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 26-Apr-18 @ 12:43 PM
Putting a car disable notice in the house window can you still park your car ther or park it somewhere else
Bushy - 25-Apr-18 @ 9:37 PM
If you are disabled but do not have a blue badge, are you allowed to park in a disabled space
San - 24-Apr-18 @ 9:41 PM
Hi my mum live on the woodchurch and she in a wheel chair and we have some time walk top of the road to take my mum out how can we get line outside my mum house for my daughter to park outside my house to take out please please can you help x thank you wendy carson
Wendy - 20-Apr-18 @ 4:22 PM
Hi I asked for a driveway and was refused due to being within 10 metres of a junction. I have seen loads of houses within 10 metres of a junction. My daughters are disabled and non verbal and also asked for a disabled bay but need higher rate mobilty I only have lower rate asked the council if I could build a 1.5 metre wall with railings and they also refused. Now my neighbour is doing a driveway and they have 3 vehicles so means she will take all the space due to her drop kerb and I have no where to park ??
Sam - 14-Apr-18 @ 8:44 PM
I have a 7.3 mtr motorhome and car parks say vehicles must be between the lines. If parking in a disabled spot with a blue badge outside the line would I get a ticket. I have trouble when traveling because they dont seem to account for larger disabled vehicle drivers.
Shepp - 9-Apr-18 @ 1:55 PM
Can blue badge holders park in motorcycle bays even if there is a queue of bikes waiting to park.
Dilbert - 3-Apr-18 @ 11:29 AM
Hi a private car park we now, does not make any allowances for the disabled. doesnt except blue badge, doesnt have disabled parking bays and doesnt have the car park metres lowered to help disabled people. our friend has a disabled daughterand has said is it illegal . if it is hwho do we complain too
alex08 - 20-Mar-18 @ 7:54 PM
Jan - Your Question:
If you are parked in your designated disabled bay and someone comes along with a motorcycle and squeezes in front of the small space in front of your car and parks their motorcycle there is this illegal. That means that there is a car and a motorcycle parked in the one bay with the motorcycle very close to the car therefore if it fell over or was knocked over it would hit the car is this allowed. When I asked the person not to do it (a learner btw) he said he was allowed as there was no pole saying disabled bay. I explained it was a council marked bay and he said I can park where I like as I pay tax and insurance. When I said your bike could fall on my car he said why do you think I have insurance.

Our Response:
Designated disabled parking bays issued by the council in front of the house are not mandatory only advisory. As annoying and as inconsiderate as this person's actions are, it means the motorcyclist can park there legally.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 19-Mar-18 @ 12:26 PM
If you are parked in your designated disabled bay and someone comes along with a motorcycle and squeezes in front of the small space in front of your car and parks their motorcycle there is this illegal. That means that there is a car and a motorcycle parked in the one bay with the motorcycle very close to the car therefore if it fell over or was knocked over it would hit the car is this allowed. When I asked the person not to do it (a learner btw)he said he was allowed as there was no pole saying disabled bay. I explained it was a council marked bay and he said I can park where I like as I pay tax and insurance. When I said your bike could fall on my car he said why do you think I have insurance.
Jan - 17-Mar-18 @ 8:14 AM
I am a Blue Badge holder, my employer refuse to allocate me a disabled car park space, I therefore have to park my car in a car park and then use public transport to get into work. I would have thought this would have been a reasonable adjustment, do they not have to provide me with a space?
Max - 10-Mar-18 @ 1:22 PM
Can a persin with a mobility scooter, park in a Wheelchair user only space. Thank you.P
Joybells - 24-Feb-18 @ 9:04 AM
Paula - Your Question:
My husband is a wheelchair user and neither of us drive, my sister drives my husband about eg he has a lot of hospital appointments our neighbour park's his car right across our entrance so making it difficult for him to get in or out what can we do

Our Response:
If the person blocking your driveway has their wheel over the dropped kerb - they are committing a parking offence. People who park over dropped kerbs can be ticketed, even if they're not entirely blocking the entrance, as it still restricts access. You would need to speak to the neighbour directly to ask them to stop. However, you may be able to request the police intervenes if it becomes a frequent issue. You may wish to take some photographs to show that your neighbour is persistently blocking the driveway to show to the police, if you have to report it.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 19-Feb-18 @ 2:46 PM
My husband is a wheelchair user and neither of us drive, my sister drives my husband about eg he has a lot of hospital appointments our neighbour park's his car right across our entrance so making it difficult for him to get in or out what can we do
Paula - 17-Feb-18 @ 9:58 AM
We have bought a flat built by a very well know developer.There is an under ground car park.I am disabled but am not always in a wheelchair and can walk short distances on good days..I do hold a blue badge.The developer has not put in any disabled spaces, and says they are not obliged too.Our allocated space is too far away from the access door.The spaces are also very tightso wheeling a chair to the side of the car door wouldn’t be possible.When I get in the car I have to open the door as wide as possible to get in. The only suggestion they have put forward is to ask someone to swap places with us but why would anyone want to, even if they did there is not much room.The flats are not fully sold yet. We don’t know if they are correct that they don’t have to put in disabled spaces legally but obviously morally they should.Any ideas how to proceed, at the moment we are dealing with customer services.
Harvey - 7-Feb-18 @ 12:14 AM
I'm the caretaker of a community centre we have a disabled parking bay for a bus of elderly people that come for lunch,and other disabled users are parking on it .can we use traffic cones to stop this ?
Izzy - 27-Jan-18 @ 6:50 AM
Can you please help me, I live In a retirement village which has disabled spaces. But people,from outside can use them, my husband is a paraplegic he already had one very bad accident when he fell because he didn’t have a disabled space. We come back from drs, ext and can’t park. I spoken to head office wh are really going to help me. I know in our other villages there is residents only parking. Any advice please as i’m At the end of my tether now, thank you
Joys - 17-Jan-18 @ 7:34 AM
Lousmammy - Your Question:
Hi ive been having a lot of trouble parking withbmy neighbour taking up two car spaces to stop me parking or trying to block me in I has a disabled bay marked out yesterday outside my home ive been waiting nearly a year for now becouse of all the trouble the police got on to the cancel the next day was here marking it out in yellow paint ive come home this evening and my neighbour has parked right across the bay is this ilegal

Our Response:
It is not illegal for your neighbour to park in it. A disabled bay outside the home for personal use is considered advisory. It is hoped that people are considerate enough to be respectful of the reasons and park elsewhere.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 21-Dec-17 @ 12:54 PM
Hi ive been having a lot of trouble parking withbmy neighbour taking up two car spaces to stop me parking or trying to block me in i has a disabled bay marked out yesterday outside my home ive been waiting nearly a year for now becouse of all the trouble the police got on to the cancel the next day was here marking it out in yellow paint ive come home this evening and my neighbour has parked right across the bay is this ilegal
Lousmammy - 21-Dec-17 @ 1:11 AM
I'm disabled and not driving at the moment. My daughter who lives with me drives me about and so has to park in my disabled bay outside my house but just recently we're getting nasty notes on car and through door about it stating that she's not disabled so shouldn't park there. Are we doing wrong as people seem to think we are?
Luthersgirl - 26-Nov-17 @ 10:03 AM
@Pooks - you're between a rock and a hard place really. If this is the only measure your employer can do to stop people using the space, then it is obviously trying to help. But it's not ideal from a disabled person's point of view. You'd have to take it up with yoru employer again, as there's nothing illegal about it, it's just pretty counter-effective.
Fioab - 21-Nov-17 @ 11:54 AM
Hi. I work for a private company and being a blue badge holder I use the disabled parking bays. There have been problems with people using the bays who are not entitled. The company's solution has been to put a key operated post on each bay, which means getting out of my car, lifting the post using the key to release it and then dropping it to the ground. I then have to get back into my car and manouvre into the space without running into or over the post (potential damage to my tyres or underside of my car). When leaving work I have to do it all in reverse with the added stress of reaching the ground to lift the post back in in place. I have been told that this is now my designated parking space and is my responsibility to ensure the post is in place to stop others using it. There was no consultation with any disabled employees prior to being put into affect. Does anyone know whether this is legal?
Pooks - 18-Nov-17 @ 11:15 AM
@ASh - Yes, it happened to me once. But the fine was dropped by the council as a 'one off' - I was out of date by three weeks. It depends upon the parking company and whether they have any sympathy. I don't know what you should do from here :(
Jan - 31-Oct-17 @ 3:25 PM
Hi Ash I have had this happen several times. Whatever you may think, you cannot use a disabled bay without a valid blue badge. Out of date badges are always ignored. On the other hand, when you notice that the badge is coming up for renewal, it always happens that you contact them too late as it takes about six weeks for them to get the new one to you. In this time you have no choice but to avoid disabled parking spaces. There is another side to this. People without a blue badge park in disabled bays all the time. They know when their vehicle might be seen and keep moving around. And yet in many areas they can park wherever they like for as long as they like without being booked whatsoever. There is no fairness for the disabled.
frankyceejay - 28-Oct-17 @ 11:26 PM
I’m a P.A for a disabled guy and we parked his car in a disabled bay, knowing his blue badge was out of date and in the process of applying for new one we purchased a ticket from the machine. On our return we had a parking fine, we appealed saying we had to park in a disabled bay as he is a wheelchair user and the normal bays just aren’t big enough but the appeal was turned down. As anyone else had anything like this happen?
Ash - 27-Oct-17 @ 11:35 PM
How do I go about haveing24 hour access outside our house (hubby in a wheelchair)we live on a main road and have ambulance transport around 3 times a week but everyone parks outside our house to use shops
Ju - 11-Oct-17 @ 3:15 PM
My wife is severely disabled and has a blue badge. We live on the third floor of a private retirement building. There are seventeen parking spaces, one of which is for the site manager and two are for disabled people. As you might imagine, I always use one of the disabled parking spaces because they are wider than the others and I need the space to move her wheelchair to the door before she gets out. It has been decided without consulting the residents that from now on anyone can use any parking space. I explained that I need the space to get my wife in and out as above. I was told that from now on, that I would have to park in the middle of the car park to let my wife in or out. This would cause the car to be in the way and my wife could ne in danger. They are keeping the disabled markings on the ground because they would have to pay for them to be removed. Are they allowed to do this? To make parking so difficult?
frankyceejay - 10-Oct-17 @ 4:42 PM
I have a disabled badge because of sight loss. My wife argues that if we go into a Supermarket car park we cannot use the disabled bays if I am not getting out of the car. Sometimes I don't feel well enough to get out of the car, and she pops in the supermarket for some bits, Help urgent answer required.
Phil - 23-Sep-17 @ 3:45 PM
We live in a block of flats that has parking spaces, some allocated and some on a first come first served basis,,,because parking is limited the management are introducing parking permits to stop other people using our spaces,are they legally required to provide blue badge parkingspaces.
Gill - 19-Sep-17 @ 10:24 PM
Trebor - Your Question:
My wife dislocated her ankle and has tendon damage. Currently she has a ankle support and crutches. Lookily we have an automatic car so driving is still possible. However getting in and out the car is a struggle and the door needs to be fully open. Can she use disabled bays whilst she is current state ?

Our Response:
Blue badges are not issued for temporary conditions and are generally only issued for permanent conditions. However the DfT is considering a reform to the blue badge process and the an introduction of a temporary badge. You can see more via the gov.uk link here. At the same time, please see gov.uk link here which advises where you tell the DVLA about a condition that might affect the ability to drive safely, which subsequently could affect your wife's insurance policy, please see link here .
DisabledTravelAdvice - 11-Sep-17 @ 1:02 PM
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