The extended Blue Badge parking scheme for people with “hidden disabilities” will go into effect from 30 August 2019, it has been revealed.
It comes after the Government announced that it will enable more people with “less visible disabilities” to use the badge to make public and private facilities more accessible.
Under current legislation, blue badges allow individuals with physical disabilities to park closer to their destination than other drivers, as they are less able to take public transport or walk longer distances.
However, the move – which has been described as the biggest change to the scheme in nearly 50 years – means blue badges will now be available to drivers or passengers with reduced mobility, anxiety disorders, autism, or dementia.
Welcoming the move, the brain injury charity Headway said the long-awaited changes will help travellers with the hidden effects of acquired brain injury, such as reduced awareness and loss of cognitive function.
Commenting on the scheme, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “As a society we don’t do enough for people with hidden disabilities.
“I hope this change to Blue Badge guidance will make a real difference to people’s lives.”
Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson added: “It’s unacceptable that people with hidden disabilities still face discrimination when using disabled facilities like parking spaces.
“Extending the Blue Badge scheme is a watershed moment in ensuring those with hidden disabilities are able to travel with greater ease and live more independent lives.”
Full details of the scheme and eligibility can be found here.