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Disabled Parking: Your Rights

By: Jennie Kermode - Updated: 11 Oct 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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[Add a Comment]
hi parking on a corner with double yellow lines is this ok i need to as it is the nearest to my daughters school
hele55 - 11-Oct-19 @ 9:05 PM
If a car is parked in a disabled bay and is not displaying a blue badge, I'm I allowed to block the car in if i require the space? Just a question as the parking disabled bays where i live in edinburgh are constantly abused. Thanks
Bones - 10-Oct-19 @ 11:40 AM
Can a blue badge holder park a motor home in a disabled parking bay
John - 25-Sep-19 @ 12:15 PM
In our road we have bays where 2 wheels have to be on the pavement. I had two rear wheels out of the bay slightly. My blue badge was on display. I appealed my parking ticket, they rejected it. My fine was £55. If I went further on appeal I would have to pay the full cost, £110. Is this right? I didn’t think it would be a problem with a badge. The council have made 2 parking bays smaller when they repaired then painted again. I’ve asked several parking wardens who have said they wouldn’t have given a ticket
T - 23-Sep-19 @ 8:05 PM
I live in 15Roslin Gardens,Tullycarnet. Our house is a “back to front house”in that access by traffic is by Kilmory Gardens. My wife is on oxygen and is Registered blind. Carers come 4 times a day. We have a ramp built which makes it easier for easy access if she needs to go out for hospital appointments or if there’s an emergency. We are constantly getting cars and one time a Housing Executive van parking immediately outside our gate. I’m fed up going out and putting no parking signs on vehicles. My wife is on DLA and a disability badge, but no car. I was told that because we haven’t got a car we can’t get yellow lines painted on the road, is this true?
Bertie - 22-Sep-19 @ 1:06 PM
I'm a carer for a wheelchair bound MS suffer, she currently has a blue badge but no disabled parking bay outside her house, she lives in a little banjo and parking is very limited, her next door neighbour has knocked this week and had a diablitity bay put in for herself outside my ladies home and said that she isn't allowed to use the disabled bay that it's for her only she has her door number painted in the disabled bay however this limits my lady from accessing her own disability vehicle is the neighbour allied to refuse use of the diablitity parking space?
Tone - 17-Sep-19 @ 11:59 AM
I was parked in a supermarket carpark in scotland but it had a time limit of 3 hours on it i left and was slightly over and got a 100 pound ticket i went to carpark and there was a sign saying a limit of 3 hours parking nothing on the sign mentioned a time limit on disabled parking i thought unless stated disable parking had no time limit should i pay this fine
Mick - 14-Sep-19 @ 12:25 PM
Sorry ment to add that it's outside my house it has a white line by it
None - 9-Sep-19 @ 8:59 AM
I have the blue badge, can I park on a street drop kirb that's not used by anyone??
None - 9-Sep-19 @ 8:45 AM
My mum is a dialysis patient and has an ambulance pick her up and drop her off 3 x times a week and always has a problem parking right out side the house as other home owners park outside. What do I do about getting a disabled spot??
Berny - 4-Sep-19 @ 1:50 PM
My wife has mobility car but is embarrassed to obtain her blue badge. Would she be able to park car in disabled bay?
Johnpaul - 2-Sep-19 @ 3:34 PM
Hi All, I am a blue badge holder and there are always cars/trucks parked a few feet away making it un-safe to do this. Has anyone got any ideas that might help me. Could I get council to yellow line this ? Thanks, Andy
Andy - 31-Aug-19 @ 11:47 PM
My mum has a disability and has a disable parking outside her house on a street park unfortunately 8 out 10 times non disabled or inconsiderate drivers abuse the parking facilities regularly. What's the point of having the marking if you can't get access to it.
Gary - 23-Aug-19 @ 8:22 AM
In July I took my mom shopping at our local shopping centre,parking for everyone is free for upto 3 hrs. I went with my mom who is disabled and has a blue badge into 1 shop..i then realised my mom or myself never put the badge on the dash. When I ran out the store I immediately seen a yellow ticket under my wiper. I ran back into the store to tell my mom to stay there while I looked for the parking attendant. I found the lady parking attendant,explained we just forgot to put in on the dash,the vehicle is mobility and this is my moms badge and she can come into the store with me to confirm I'm with my mom. She said dont worrie I'll cancel the ticket as she also knew we are regulars at our shopping place,and I far as I seen she cancelled it on the mobile device they use. This incident happened on 14/07/2019,I have since received a ticket on 15/08/2019 for £100 pounds for parking in a disabled bay without displaying blue badge. Surely the parking company who requested the address off the vehicle from DVLA seen it was a mobility car?? I just want to know what my rights are,as I was told by the parking warden and showing her the evidence this was an honest mistake.
Clairabella - 15-Aug-19 @ 7:13 PM
We live in a leasehold flat service charge we bought the flatwe have a disabled parking only sign but non residents park to close as the parking space isn’t wide enough my husband 1 leg severely disabled has to use a four wheeled walker but he carnt get down to the door to narrow he’s 79 what can we do he has a blue badge
None - 30-Jul-19 @ 6:28 PM
My parents Mr & Mrs Lad of 19 Rowland Street Rugby CV21 2BN, had there disabled parking bay markings done on the street in front of the house.The Bay is too small and if both cars are park up to the lines given on either side, we can’t park our cars as it just too small and don’t have room for our wheel chairs.Both parents are disabled and use wheel chairs. Can anyone come and make the disabled bay larger in length.Mobile 07871 444766
Nita - 24-Jul-19 @ 2:56 PM
My parents Mr & Mrs Lad of 19 Rowland Street Rugby CV21 2TF, had there disabled parking bay markings done on the street in front of the house.The Bay is too small and if both cars are park up to the lines given on either side, we can’t park our cars as it just too small and don’t have room for our wheel chairs.Both parents are disabled and use wheel chairs. Can anyone come and make the disabled bay larger in length.Mobile 07871 444766
Nita - 24-Jul-19 @ 2:26 PM
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
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