The Blue Badge Scheme explained

People with severe mobility problems and people who have difficulty in using public transport, or who are parents or carers for young children with certain disabilities, are able to make use of the Blue Badge scheme, which operates throughout the UK, giving them a range of parking concessions. Your local council is in charge of the issuing of Blue Badge parking permits and will be able to inform you of the criteria for their issue.

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Parking On Yellow Lines

Under the Blue Badge scheme disabled people may, in England and Wales, park on streets with single yellow or double yellow lines for up to 3 hours.

In Scotland there is no time limit applied for Blue Badge holders who wish to park on single or double yellow lines. It should be noted that parking concessions under the Blue Badge scheme only apply to on street parking and does not apply in areas where there is a ban on the unloading and loading of vehicles. Some areas, such as central London, also have local schemes in operation.

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When parking your vehicle on a single or double yellow line it is most important that you display both your Blue Badge and a parking disk which shows what time you arrived. In parking areas covered by on street parking meters and pay and display machines, Blue Badge holders are able to park for free and for as long as is necessary, unless a notice advises that there is a time limit applicable to Blue Badge holders.

If such a time limit system is in operation you must also ensure that the blue parking disk displaying your arrival time is also on show. There are a number of minor variations in the Blue Badge scheme between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland so you need to confirm what these are before using your Blue Badge.

Blue Badge holders are exempt from paying the London Congestion Charge. You will, however, have to register with Transport for London at least ten days before you plan to visit London in order to qualify for this exemption. There is also a one off payment of £10 to cover registration.

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Use Of Blue Badge Abroad

As well as using your Blue Badge in the UK, it can also be used in a number of other European countries. The UK has reciprocal parking arrangements with some other European countries. The Institute of Advanced Motorists has published a booklet regarding the use of Blue Badges across Europe. This is also available to be downloaded from their website. If you are travelling outside the European Union it is always worthwhile taking your Blue Badge with you and finding out if you are able to use your Blue Badge in the area you are visiting.

Should a Blue Badge holder misuse the badge, by allowing other people to use it or by continuing to make use of it after their condition has improved to the point where they are no longer eligible for the Blue Badge scheme, local councils have the power to take the Blue Badge away.

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