Good News - Extension of Blue Badge Scheme – Just Announced
The badges allow holders to park for free in pay and display bays and for up to 3 hours on yellow lines. Following an 8-week national consultation resulting in 6,000 responses, the Transport Minister, Jesse Norman, has just announced an overhaul of the scheme to cover ‘hidden disabilities’ such as autism and mental health conditions.
Although the current rules do not bar people with non-physical disabilities, the Dept of Transport says they are ‘open to interpretation’ and require greater clarity. Those newly eligible include:
Those who cannot make a journey without ‘a risk of serious harm to health or safety’ or others, including children with autism
People who find journeys cause ‘very considerable physical distress’
Those with considerable difficulty walking, ‘both the physical act and the experience of walking’
This should make it easier for parents to obtain blue badges for their SEND children and young people from Surrey County Council. While the overhaul eligibility criteria are to be introduced in 2019, we would hope that Surrey County Council will start to include them in their assessments of applications straight away. Applications should detail the practical consequences on you and your family in not being able to park as near your destinations - shops, amenities, parks etc as possible, including safety, security, health, and inclusion.
You can apply online on the Surrey County Council website. The badge is normally valid for 3 years and costs £10. The process can take around 4-6 weeks but may be quicker than this. You can start and pause the application process but will need to complete and submit the application within 2 weeks.
Please let us know if you are having problems getting a blue badge and we will take issues raised to the Surrey County Council blue badge team.