Extended Blue Badge scheme “significantly” improving lives

The extended Blue Badge disability scheme will make a “significant improvement to people’s lives”, a charity has said.

The comments come after the Government pledged to extend the parking scheme to people with ‘hidden’ disabilities, such as a brain injury, from the beginning of 2019.

The new rules mean that anyone who faces barriers to travel may be able to apply for a Blue Badge to park closer to local shops and amenities.

Under the new extended criteria, anyone who cannot undertake a journey without there being a risk of serious harm to their health or safety or that of any other person (such as a young child with autism), anyone who cannot undertake a journey without it causing them considerable psychological stress or anyone who has considerable difficulty when walking is welcome to apply for a badge.

Speaking to the BBC’s Breakfast programme, Peter McCabe, chief executive of brain injury charity Headway, said many brain injury survivors are left with “debilitating fatigue, difficulties processing information, memory problems and other problems” which can make everyday life hard.

“People with hidden disabilities need support in many different ways and, for some of them, being able to use a Blue Badge will make a significant improvement to their lives,” he said.

“We are very pleased that changes have been put in place to enable brain injury survivors to apply for Blue Badges.”

Mr McCabe added: “If you are having difficulty finding a disabled parking space when you need one, I urge you to contact your local council to make them aware of the problem and to ask for more spaces to be put in place, where you need them.”