Schemes to help disabled people include the Blue Badge scheme (to help with parking), road tax exemption, and help with buying or hiring motor vehicles. Note: this leaflet gives a brief summary of help for disabled road users and is for guidance only. It does not cover all situations nor is it a full statement of the law. Other sources of help and advice are given at the end of the leaflet.
The Blue Badge Scheme
The main purpose of the scheme is to allow disabled and blind people to park closer to their destination. This includes disabled children over the age of two who meet the conditions. The person entitled to have a badge may be a driver or a passenger.
When a vehicle is parked, the Blue Badge should be displayed so that the holder's name and the date of expiry are visible. If you do not display the badge correctly you could get a parking fine and you may also be fined if you use an out-of-date Blue Badge.
What does the Blue Badge entitle you to do?
It generally means that you can:
- Park without charge or time limit at parking meters and in 'on-street' disabled parking bays.
- Park without a time limit in streets where waiting is allowed for limited periods.
- Park on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours in England and Wales (although there are some restrictions). In Scotland there is no time limit.
However, a Blue Badge is not a licence to park anywhere. Some restrictions do apply and the above is for guidance only. For example, you cannot park in bus or cycle lanes, when loading restrictions apply, etc. Also, the Blue Badge scheme does not apply to off-street or private car parks such as supermarket car parks. Although these private car parks often have designated disabled parking, the car park owner decides whether or not disabled people can park for free. You will need to read the full instructions when you get a Blue Badge.
Blue Badges can also be used in European Union (EU) countries and in some other European countries. Also, people with a Blue Badge do not have to pay the London congestion charge - but you must register with Transport for London before travelling. Blue Badge holders are exempt from tolls at certain river crossings, bridges and tunnels.
It is an offence to display a Blue Badge if the disabled person has not been in the vehicle prior to its being parked, unless the driver is parking to collect the disabled person.
Who can get a Blue Badge?
- If you get the higher rate of mobility component of Disability Living Allowance.
- If you get War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement.
- If you are registered blind.
- If you drive regularly and have a severe disability in both arms which means you cannot turn the steering wheel by hand.
- If you have a permanent disability so bad that you cannot walk or you have great difficulty in walking.
How can you apply for a Blue Badge?
Contact the Social Services department of your local authority. They may ask your doctor (GP) for medical evidence about the degree of disability.
See the Department for Transport's website for full information: Web: www.dft.gov.uk/transportforyou/access/bluebadge/
Vehicle Excise Duty (Road Tax)
You are exempt from paying the Vehicle Excise Duty (Road Tax) if you get:
- The higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance.
- War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement.
If you are eligible you may nominate another person's vehicle to be exempted from tax. If you use your employer's company car, you can nominate the company for exemption. To qualify for exemption the vehicle should be used substantially for the purposes of the disabled person.
How do you apply for exemption from Vehicle Excise Duty?
If you get higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance or War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement, you should be sent the exemption forms to claim an exemption certificate. However, if this doesn't happen then contact either the Disability Living Allowance Unit and ask for a DLA 404 exemption certificate or the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency and ask for a WPA 442 exemption certificate. You then use your exemption certificate to apply for a free tax disc. For further information see www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/MotoringAndTransport/Yourvehicleandlicence/DG_10028003
Help with hiring and purchasing a motor vehicle
The Motability charity has overall responsibility for the Motability Scheme which enables disabled people to exchange either their higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance or their War Pensioners' mobility supplement to obtain a new or leased car, powered wheelchair or scooter.
Who can use Motability?
You can use the Motability Scheme if you:
- receive the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, or
- have a child of three years and upwards who receives it, or
- are getting War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement
For more information about Motability contact them at:
Motability, City Gate House, 22 Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9HB
Tel (Helpline): 0845 456 4566 Minicom: 0845 675 0009 Web: www.motability.co.uk
Department for Transport
The site gives full information and regulations for the Blue Badge, and lots of other relevant information about mobility and transport for disabled people.
Directgov brings together the widest range of public service information and services online.
Produced by the Central Office of Information, Directgov provides information from across UK government departments on topics ranging from travel safety and parental leave, to special educational needs, local NHS services, and benefits. The site also brings together an increasing number of online government services - including being able to download and/or complete certain benefit claim forms online.
Benefit Enquiry Line - BEL
England, Wales and Scotland - Tel: 0800 88 22 00 Textphone: 0800 24 33 55 Northern Ireland - Tel: 0800 220 674 Textphone: 0800 243 787
For people with disabilities, their carers and representatives. It is part of the Department for Work and Pensions. BEL offers confidential advice and information on benefits and how to claim them. In addition they can also send out an extensive range of leaflets and claim packs, and help you to complete a claim form over the phone.
Citizens Advice Bureau
Provides independent advice on many issues including benefits. Listed in the phone book under 'Citizens Advice Bureaux'.
Ashwellthorpe, Norwich, Norfolk, NR16 1EX
Tel: 0870 770 3333
Run for disabled people by disabled people, and concerns itself with the needs of disabled people, primarily by encouraging greater independence through enhanced mobility.
Blue Badge Network
198 Wolverhampton Street, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 1DZ
Tel: 01384 257001
Helps disabled people, and their families, of all ages to integrate more effectively with society through the European Union. The Network also seeks to maintain the integrity and validity of the concessionary parking permit by the prevention of fraud and misuse of this valuable asset.
Further reading & references
|Original Author: Dr Tim Kenny||Current Version: Hilary Cole|
|Last Checked: 20/04/2011||Document ID: 4481 Version: 40||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.