Applying for a Blue Badge
There are a number of schemes that are designed to assist people with disabilities. If people are unsure of what they might be eligible for, they can check online, with their local authority, their GP or the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Users of lightweight wheelchairs who get their equipment from a local stockist of Karma Mobility equipment, may also be able to get information from the dealer.
What is a Blue Badge?
A Blue Badge is something that people put in the window of their vehicle or the vehicle of someone who is driving them around. It allows them to park in disabled parking spaces and on double and single yellow lines for up to 3 hours where there are no other restrictions in place. They may be able to park in other places as well but the exact details vary from area to area so they should check the details of anywhere that they wish to go.
Free parking is available in some car parks and streets for Blue Badge holders. This should not be taken for granted however, as some areas are exempt and a ticket may be issued if they do not pay the required fee.
Who is eligible?
There are numerous ways that people can become eligible for a Blue Badge. Users of lightweight wheelchairs who cannot walk or are only partially mobile should apply. The scheme is designed to get people closer to their destination so that they do not have to traverse long distances with any condition that makes it difficult for them.
How do you apply?
Application is through the www.gov.uk website or paper applications available through local councils. If an applicant is automatically eligible via one of the criteria, such as being a permanent lightweight wheelchair user, then the process is easy. Even if someone is not automatically eligible, it is still worth applying if they feel they have a need. In the latter case, they will need to describe their difficulties and provide evidence.
Users of lightweight wheelchairs do not need to be able to drive in order to apply for a Blue Badge. Once they have it, they can take it with them to use in any vehicle that they are travelling in.