Blue Badge Changes Long Overdue

I welcome the biggest change to the Blue Badge scheme since it was first introduced in 1970, after an announcement from the Department for Transport that from Friday 30th August, people with hidden disabilities can apply to their local Council for a blue badge.

The blue badge scheme already helps 2.4 million people with physical disabilities by enabling them to park closer to their destination, making life easier and the services they need more accessible.

However if you suffer from a hidden disability like dementia, autism or anxiety, people will know from experience that getting a blue badge to help with the challenges these conditions present to daily life has been much more difficult.

Local Authorities will receive £1.7 million in funding to help Councils ensure that the new rules are rolled out successfully, and that everyone with a hidden disability who applies and needs a Blue Badge will get one.

I can think of more than a few people who have asked me for help with blue badges who will benefit from this long overdue change to the rules.

I recently spoke in a debate in Parliament about the accessibility of public transport for people with hidden disabilities, and this extension of the blue badge scheme shows how important it is that we make every effort to ensure that local shops and services are accessible for all disabled people.

While the expanded scheme will not automatically grant a Blue Badge to all people with a hidden disability, it will certainly make getting one much easier.