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Disabled Parking: Your Rights

By: Jennie Kermode - Updated: 24 Jul 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 had a bay install on our street I have severe spine problem I struggle to walk I have other medical issues like getting to a loo in time am 61 I cannot get to park my car in the bay someone on my street has a blue badge and is constantly parked in the bay Ihave to struggle to walk with a bag from outside the cul de sac when the cab drop me off I had a terrible fall it's not fair at all what can I do
Doris - 24-Jul-17 @ 6:11 PM
@Dan - you would have to appeal. That seems pretty unfair to me.
Maggie - 24-Jul-17 @ 1:57 PM
Hello, I am a disabled resident living in a clsoe, we used to be able to park anywhere within this close but that has recently changed and it is now bay parking only, I have a disabled badge, we have 3 disabled bays downstairs but 4 disabled residents. They are stating we have to have a permit along side the disabled badge to park in the disabled bays, this is something I have never heard of before but regardless I contacted the company to get a permit and was refused! Their reasons for not issuing me with a permit was because there is only 3 bays and they have already issued 3 permits they have not given me any alternative way of parking and have told me I now have to park outside of the close and walk which I am unable to do, the walk itself is at least over a mile. I need to know if there is anything I can do another this as parking within the close outside of a bay Igetting fined and this is all making my health worse.
Dan - 22-Jul-17 @ 11:56 AM
If someone deliberately parks in your disabled signed space constantly, it is a course of conduct which is Anti-Social Behaviour. There is recourse in Civil Court Proceedings for Harassment causing the disabled person alarm and distress. These actions are covered by "Protection From Harassment Act 1997" and "Disability Discrimination Act 1995". If you are a driver of a Motability vehicle the insurance requires that the vehicle is parked outside the disabled persons home when the driver lives at that address. This is a compelling reason for the Local Council's Anti-Social actions officer to support you.
Man with an answer - 19-Jul-17 @ 8:55 PM
Rumi - Your Question:
Our next door neighbour as a disabled bay outside her house for her son. which she mis uses for her own buisness purpose. not only that she has put 2 cones on each side of d white parkings taking up 2 extra car spaces. im.sure ahe is not allowed. we can clearly see d disabled sign so why is she been allowed to do this.

Our Response:
Attempting to keep hold of a parking spot can mean a fine of up to £100, if the council is made aware of this. It is an offence under the Highways Act for anyone other than the police or the council to put cones out in the road. Your neighbour would not have permission to do this.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 18-Jul-17 @ 2:52 PM
our next door neighbour as a disabled bay outside her house for her son . which she mis uses for her own buisness purpose .not only that she has put 2 cones on each side of d white parkings taking up 2 extra car spaces .im.sure ahe is not allowed . we can clearly see d disabled sign so why is she been allowed to do this .
Rumi - 18-Jul-17 @ 1:53 PM
My mum (70) and dad (73) are both elderly and my mum uses a wheelchair to move around due to loss of feeling in her feet as a result of being diabetic and having high blood pressure added to being overweight. They are visiting us from a non EU country for 8 weeks. Is there a possibility of getting a temporary disabled badge for them for this period to be easy to find a parking space when we go out. If yes, where should I apply for it and how long does it take. Thank you.
RH - 9-Jul-17 @ 8:22 PM
Private- Your Question:
I have a disabled parking outside my home and no body let's me career park the car therefore I need to park on the next road I wishould I can fine them somehow

Our Response:
As advised on the comment below to Jazz, a blue badge disabled parking space outside a disabled person's house is only advisory, not mandatory. Therefore, those who ignore the advisory markings cannot be fined.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 30-Jun-17 @ 12:01 PM
I have a disabled parking outside my home and no body let's me career park the car therefore I need to park on the next road I wishould I can fine them somehow
Private - 29-Jun-17 @ 5:45 PM
Jazz - Your Question:
Hi I have a blue badge disabled parking space outside my house for my use. What do I do if people abuse the parking. Who would I call? I live in Greenford.Many thanks in advance.

Our Response:
I'm afraid a blue badge disabled parking space outside a disabled person's house is only advisory, not mandatory. Whilst most people keep to the restrictions there may be others who will not. I can only advise that you explain to the people who are using your space the reasons why you need the space. However, you cannot enforce the disabled restrictions, you can only hope that your neighbours will comply.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 29-Jun-17 @ 3:32 PM
Hi I have a blue badge disabled parking space outside my house for my use. What do I do if people abuse the parking. Who would I call? I live in Greenford. Many thanks in advance.
Jazz - 28-Jun-17 @ 2:54 PM
@PMor - seriously, she needs to complain or appeal this :( This is ridiculous if the houses are specifically for the elderly. She'll definitely have a case!
Joanne - 19-Jun-17 @ 4:21 PM
My aged mother has had a disabled parking sign outside her house for 20 years as she has blue bagde as cannot walk well due to illness. Today, the council came to her door (with the police) and informed her that the sign is being taken down as her parked car obstucts the narrow road. most of the houses have made their front gardens a drive and use up spaces due to this. Council wants my mother to park the other end of street which is quite unreasonable due to her health. The area she stays is all bungalows which were allocated to the elderly and infirm but now due to council allowing people buying houses, new neighbours (healthy and young), park several vehicals on this road. Can the council do this without prior notice or even at all.
PMor - 19-Jun-17 @ 2:58 PM
Justice- Your Question:
I have received a parking fine for being parked in my requested on street disabled parking bay, because I did not display my blue badge, as I had it with me in another vehicle to attend a hospital appointment! Being incapable of driving and walking that day! They then said that I had to move my car out of disabled bay and park it in another space, which would always be on another street as cars are parked nose to tail on mine! Totally Defeats the purpose of Disabled bay and badge being there to help Disabled people!!! Why is there no help and no support for our Disability??? Doesn't make sense!!?

Our Response:
There areterms and conditions requiring you to display your blue badge as a contractual term for using a disabled bay. You will need to appeal stating that you have a legal right to use the space, and provide any evidence you may have.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 16-Jun-17 @ 12:21 PM
I have received a parking fine for being parked in my requested on street disabled parking bay, because i did not display my blue badge, as I had it with me in another vehicle to attenda hospital appointment! Being incapable of driving and walking that day! They then said that I had to move my car out of disabled bay and park it in another space, which would always be on another street as cars are parked nose to tail on mine! Totally Defeats the purpose of Disabled bay and badge being there to help Disabled people!!! Why is there no help and no support for our Disability??? Doesn't make sense!!?
Justice - 9-Jun-17 @ 12:35 PM
Can a neighbour with a blue badge park outside my house on double yellow lines all day and overnight? In the daytime after 3 hours is up on his car, he runs out and changes the time on his badge clock.
jay - 1-Jun-17 @ 7:30 PM
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
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