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Disabled Parking: Your Rights

By: Jennie Kermode - Updated: 15 Jul 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]
@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
I travel from Australia to the UK quite often to visit family. I have a disability badge for parking issued by the council where I reside in Australia.I have used my badge before but recently was given a fine for parking in a private area of a shopping mall car park because they do not recognize badges issued outside the UE. Do I therefore have to apply for a temporary badge whilst travelling in the UK and other countries?
Lozza - 24-May-18 @ 5:13 PM
I have a blue badge; my application for a disabled parking space outside my house has been assessed and approved by the traffic engineer, relevant Council committee also Met Police. 1 or 2 objections following required public notices and this now has to go to a cabinet member.Do I have a right to know in advance what (but not necessarily who has made) the objections are, as with all other planning applications in the public realm?
Mac - 18-May-18 @ 4:48 PM
Jules - Your Question:
I am temporarily disabled as I had a foot operation and I use crutches and wheelchair. Am I allowed to use a disabled parking space?

Our Response:
You can only use a disabled parking space if you have a blue badge, please see link here.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 15-May-18 @ 11:15 AM
I am temporarily disabled as I had a foot operation and I use crutches and wheelchair. Am I allowed to use a disabled parking space?
Jules - 14-May-18 @ 1:55 PM
Shaz - Your Question:
On private land with a disabled parking space and you find others in that space that isn't disabled can anything by law be done please

Our Response:
Disabled bays installed at the front of an applicant’s property are purely advisory, which means they are not legally enforceable. If the person is using the space is not authorised to be on the land in question, then this is a different matter and an application for an injunction can be made for trespass.
DisabledTravelAdvice - 1-May-18 @ 3:25 PM
do you have to park within your disabled bay, I have been given an allocated disabled space as i have a large van does this mean that i have to park within the alloted disabled bay
simmo - 1-May-18 @ 2:47 PM
On private land with a disabled parking space and you find others in that space that isn't disabled can anything by law be done please
Shaz - 1-May-18 @ 1:17 PM
Wendy- Your Question:
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

Our Response:
If you mother is applying for a space for her carer’s vehicle, the carer must live at her address. You can see more via the link here .
DisabledTravelAdvice - 27-Apr-18 @ 2:27 PM
I am disabled and me and my husband drive to the station together and park in a disabled bay.I do not drive.He has just told me he needs to work late tonight so I will need to get a taxi home from the station but he is concerned at getting into his car without me - the disabled person with him.What is the rule with regards to these unforeseen circumstances? Thanks
Suzy - 27-Apr-18 @ 9:36 AM
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
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