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Disabled Parking: Your Rights

By: Jennie Kermode - Updated: 18 Sep 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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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
Is it illegal to sit in my car in a disabled bay in a supermarket. I have a disabled badge and so does my son. I had popped into to the shop whilst my son stayed in the car. A man started knocking the window, and told my son he was breaking the law, and that you are not allowed to sit in the car. He came back to say he was reporting us to the security in the supermarket and that we would be fined £70. Needless to say he didn't come back out. But it is upsetting and unnecessary
Chris - 18-Sep-18 @ 1:31 PM
@Big Col - you'd have to get a firm in to enforce it like the supermarkets do. You can't just slap your own tickets on.
JoH - 11-Sep-18 @ 10:34 AM
where I work customers often abuse the disabled parking bays which are available to both staff & customers provided they display a valid blue badge . Can the company enforce anything against the abusers of disabled parking bays ?
Big Col - 9-Sep-18 @ 7:37 PM
@RachelN Thanks for the reply I fully understand the rules and having a disabled bay outside my house does not compromise public safety. The narrow width rule in my case is ridiculous a car or my car is parked outside my house 99% of time.This means the road is permanently the same width as if a bay was there. If there were parking restrictions or any of the other reasons a bay is disallowed I could understand, but a disabled bay in my case would have no impact on road width at all. It is a stupid rule without any compromise or appeal and should be assessed on an individual basis.
gus - 21-Aug-18 @ 12:15 PM
My Grandmother has only had her disabled bay in for 2 days and a car has already been then for 10hours. She left the house for the first time yesterday for a family doo (hoping her space would be free) but returned back around 2am and the same car that was parked there previously was still there. In total the car would has been there for over 24hrs. Due to this she had to park 5 minutes away from home. My Grandmother does not leave in a lovely neighbour, so she had to pay for a cab all the way back home - she was scared.Is there anything that can be done on this matter? We are now even considering putting a drop curve in, but we are not sure whether we can with a disbable bay out the front. Someone please advise? Thankyou
Allyhanz97 - 19-Aug-18 @ 4:26 PM
Marina travers - Your Question:
There is a disabled parking baysacross road from me but lady does not own a car can anyone park in that space

Our Response:
Yes, the space is advisory not compulsary.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 17-Aug-18 @ 12:27 PM
@gus - Bays will not be provided in locations that may compromise public safety such as: on a bend, on a brow of a hill, close to a junction, within a turning head of a cul-de-sac, where the road is too narrow and/or where parking is already prohibited e.g. on yellow lines, zigzag lines etc. Unfortunately, they are the rules and somewhere a line has to be drawn :(
RachelN - 14-Aug-18 @ 10:49 AM
I applied for a disabled bay outside my house but was turned down as apparently the road is not wide enough. My car and neighbours cars are parked on our road and take up the same amount of space as a 1.6m wide disabled bay would . I don't understand the stupid rule how does a few painted lines restrict the road when 99% of the time a vehicle is parked there of the same width? The bay would be discretionary and unenforceable.
gus - 12-Aug-18 @ 6:52 PM
Gavolla - Your Question:
My mum lives on a estate out side her flat on the public high way there is a bay that is white lined out with disabled on the floor, however there is no sign indicating on a pole or lamppost by that bay saying it’s reserved for disabled only. As I’m not disabled am I allowed to park there with out getting a ticket, as I was told if there is no pole of lamppost stating it’s for disabled I’m allowed. ps the disabled person who use to use it no longer lives there and the space never gets used.!!.

Our Response:
Yes, you are allowed to park there as a disabled space such as this is advisory only, not compulsary.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 10-Aug-18 @ 12:52 PM
Loonydeb - Your Question:
Can someone please tell me if legally people can reserve their space with police cones. I needed to park near to the shops so I moved the cones and parked in the spot.when I returned I had an abusive note left saying that I has stopped a disabled person from parking outside their property.yet I’m a blue badge holder and as far as I knew anyone with a badge could park in a disabled bay in the road.

Our Response:
No, they cannot. In fact they could end up with a fixed penalty notice if they continue or are reported to the local council.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 9-Aug-18 @ 12:59 PM
Can someone please tell me if legally people can reserve their space with police cones. I needed to park near to the shops so I moved the cones and parked in the spot...when I returned I had an abusive note left saying that I has stopped a disabled person from parking outside their property..yet I’m a blue badge holder and as far as I knew anyone with a badge could park in a disabled bay in the road.
Loonydeb - 8-Aug-18 @ 8:53 PM
My mum lives on a estate out side her flat on the public high way there is a bay that is white lined out with disabled on the floor, however there is no sign indicating on a pole or lamppost by that bay saying it’s reserved for disabled only. As I’m not disabled am I allowed to park there with out getting a ticket, as I was told if there is no pole of lamppost stating it’s for disabled I’m allowed .. ps the disabled person who use to use it no longer lives there and the space never gets used ..!!..
Gavolla - 8-Aug-18 @ 8:52 PM
My neighbor has a disabled parking space outside her house, no problem with that. However parking is very limited in our street and she parks her disability car next to the bay to save her son a parking space when he visits, he too has a disability sticker!! That I do have a problem with! Surely that’s abusing the system?
Sharon - 5-Aug-18 @ 12:25 PM
I know a sports center who hold car boot sales every sunday mornings during the summer period. for the last couple of years they have displayed a sign stating that disabled parking bays are only to be used by wheel chair users. Surely this is a case of discrimination. Not all disabilities are visable.
Andy Phillips - 26-Jul-18 @ 9:57 AM
There is a disabledparkingbaysacrossroad from me but lady does not own a car can anyonepark in that space
Marina travers - 25-Jul-18 @ 10:45 PM
If my wife holds a blue badge can I sit in a dissabled bay and wait for her while she attends an appointment or must I exit the vehicle as I've been told I must exit the vehicle or sit in the passenger seat thanks in advance charles
Chassa - 22-Jul-18 @ 7:51 PM
I forgot to put out my badge.and parked in a disabled space on a shopping centre car park.do I have to pay the fine
Keithy - 20-Jul-18 @ 2:20 PM
@Martyf - anyone can park in a disabled space outside a house, as it's advisory not compulsary. So, you can evendo this if you're not disabled believe it or not. Most people are respectful enough to keep to it though.
GillM - 16-Jul-18 @ 12:08 PM
My in laws have a disabled space outside their house. However it is always used by a person across the road who has a blue badge, meaning we can't park outside our in laws house when we pick them up. Are the neighbours in the wrong as it is not dedicated to them?
Martyf - 15-Jul-18 @ 7:19 PM
My sister is taking me on holiday in her car I am not driving can she park in blue badge bay
Nuttet - 13-Jul-18 @ 7:18 PM
jt - Your Question:
Hi, I don't know if this is relevant to this page but there is a pub that I know that has taken up 2 of the disabled spaces in the car park just for a smoking area. This means there is only one disabled space left just because they want a deck and chairs for a smoking area as the owner smokes with customers. I don't know if they're allowed to do this or what actions to take when it comes to this because it could be nothing but I don't feel like it's right. Thanks for any advise you can give and sorry it is off-topic

Our Response:
There are no specific requirements under the Equality Act 2010 for a specific amount of spaces. But the British Standards Institution (BSI) recommends that 5% of the total capacity for visitor parking is designated disabled parking. They also have to be in proximity to the building and monitored for specific use. If someone doesn’t cooperate with their duty to make reasonable adjustments, the Equality Act says it’s unlawful discrimination. You can ask the person or organisation to make the necessary changes, please see link here for further information.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 12-Jul-18 @ 12:35 PM
Hi, I don't know if this is relevant to this page but there is a pub that I know that has taken up 2 of the disabled spaces in the car park just for a smoking area. This means there is only one disabled space left just because they want a deck and chairs for a smoking area as the owner smokes with customers. I don't know if they're allowed to do this or what actions to take when it comes to this because it could be nothing but I don't feel like it's right. Thanks for any advise you can give and sorry it is off-topic
jt - 10-Jul-18 @ 4:40 PM
My son has just returned to his car which is parked in a disabled space (blue bade wheelchair user) A car has parked over the striped -area which is a no parking square close to his car and he can not get in his car What can he do
GAP - 6-Jul-18 @ 1:57 PM
@Babe - if you have a blue badge, yes.
Lol - 28-Jun-18 @ 9:34 AM
My car is registered disabled through pip can I park in disabled spaces my log states disabled vechicle
Babe - 27-Jun-18 @ 12:58 PM
I am the badge holder; was told when I am a passenger my driver is not allowed to leave the car in a disabled parking bay - they can park there to drop me off, but once they have dropped me off, they must leave the bay, and park elsewhere, and can only return to the bay to pick me up. Can you confirm.
TheBounder - 26-Jun-18 @ 11:06 AM
@Herbert - should be fine. Check with the hotel. You never know these days.
Jinn - 5-Jun-18 @ 2:05 PM
I parking with my blue badge on display in a hotel patrons car park is this OK?
Herbert - 4-Jun-18 @ 8:46 PM
Where I work has 3 disabled bays on its land ... I ha e a blue badge and have parked there for 2.5 years ...I cannot walk very far without bring in excrusiating pain....recently they have told me that for 2 days a week I have to park down the road or across the road as they have allocated set days to 2 members of staff with OT recommendations they park near work...is this legal as they ha e said these 2 women are not permitted blue badges but they are giving them the days they want to park and telling the 3 of us with blue badges to sort the days we want to park amongst ourselves as we disagreed with what they done....can they legally do this
Tee - 28-May-18 @ 9:49 PM
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