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About the Blue Badge scheme

The Blue Badge scheme allows drivers of passengers with severe mobility problems to park close to where they need to go. Find out where you can use your badge, how to display it and how to use it abroad.

About the scheme

Transport Scotland produces a leaflet which provides information about using and displaying a Blue Badge correctly. You can download a copy free of charge here.

You can apply for a Blue Badge using the link below if your main residence is in Scotland or England. If you live in Wales, you will be able to apply on line as from April 2012.

Using a Blue Badge

In Scotland, Blue Badge holders may generally park:

  • on single or double yellow lines, unless there is a ban on loading or unloading (note in England and Wales there is a three hour limit);
  • at 'on-street' parking meters and pay-and-display machines for free and for as long as they need to; and
  • in disabled parking bays

Find Blue Badge parking in your local authority

You can find out about Blue Badge parking spaces in your area from your local authority.

Displaying the Blue Badge

You should display the Blue Badge where it can be clearly read through the windscreen of your vehicle. The front of the badge should face upwards, showing the wheelchair symbol or the hologram in the new badge design.

When no parking concessions are being used, Blue Badges should be removed from view.

Showing a Blue Badge for inspection

Enforcement officers who are allowed to inspect Blue Badges include:

  • police officers;
  • traffic wardens;
  • local council parking attendants; and
  • civil enforcement officers

They should produce an identity card with their photograph on it to prove they are who they say they are. If an enforcement officer asks to see your Blue Badge, you must show it to them. If you do not, you will be breaking the law and could be fined up to £1,000.

Enforcement officers are not allowed to take away a Blue Badge unless accompanied by a police officer.

Misuse of a Blue Badge

Blue Badges are the property of local councils, who can take them away if they are misused. The Blue Badge is for your use only, and it is an offence to allow other people to use it. It is also an offence to park in an on-street Blue Badge parking bay without displaying a badge.

The maximum fine for someone convicted is £1,000 plus any additional penalty for the related parking offence.

It is not illegal to remain in the vehicle with the badge displayed if you are a Blue Badge holder or waiting for the Blue Badge holder to return. However, you should consider using a car park whenever possible.

The Blue Badge scheme does not apply to off-street car parks, for example supermarket car parks. However, off-street car parks may provide bays for Blue Badge holders. Please check any signs or notices before parking.

If you think people are unfairly parking in bays reserved for disabled people, contact the management of the store or car park.

Report misuse of a Blue Badge

If you think someone is misusing a Blue Badge, you should get as many details as possible from the badge on display and report the matter to your local authority.

Regional variations

While the scheme operates throughout the UK, there are variations in its application in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In Scotland and Northern Ireland, there is no time restriction on parking for Blue Badge holders, unless local restrictions apply. In England and Wales you will need a parking clock which must be displayed when you are parking on yellow lines or in a Blue Badge parking bay that has a time limit. In both cases, you should set the clock to show the quarter hour period during which the period of exempted waiting began and display it next to your badge on the dashboard. Badge holders living in Scotland who intend to visit England or Wales should apply to their Local Authority for the loan of a parking clock which can be used for the duration of their stay in England and Wales.

Toll exemptions

There are no longer any bridge tolls in Scotland. However there are still tolls at certain river crossings, bridges and tunnels in other parts of the UK. Blue Badge holders may be exempt from payment of tolls.

Information about tolls is available on the Directgov website.

 

Using the Blue Badge in London

The Blue Badge scheme does not apply in four central London boroughs, who offer their own parking concessions. They are the City of London, the City of Westminster, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and part of the London Borough of Camden. You can find Blue Badge bays in these central London areas on the London Blue Badge Map.

London Congestion Charge

Blue Badge holders do not have to pay the London Congestion Charge. As a badge holder you must register with Transport for London (TfL) at least ten days before your journey and pay a one-off £10 registration fee. You can download a registration form from the TfL website.

  • Telephone: 0845 900 1234
  • Textphone 020 7649 9123

Using your Blue Badge abroad

Your Blue Badge is recognised throughout the European Union (EU). That means that you can take advantage of the parking concessions available in the other EU countries.

Please note that the concessions provided in other EU countries may not be the same as in the UK. The Parking Card for People with Disabilities in the European Union gives helpful information on concessions (please see document download below), however it is important to check the concession details for the country you are visiting and make sure you apply the rules when you park.

The appropriate foreign language of the Folder that accompanies the Parking Card for People with Disabilities in the European Union part of the card should be displayed alongside your Blue Badge (please see the document download below). It is always a good idea to enquire locally before you park, as some countries operate local concessions.

There are no current arrangements for you to use your badge outside the European Union, in countries such as the USA or Australia, although they may be prepared to recognise the Blue Badge. We advise you to check what concessions are available before travelling to non EU countries.

Anyone who misuses a blue badge will be liable to whatever penalties for unlawful parking apply in the country in question.

For more information on using parking permits abroad see:FIA Guide for the Disabled Traveller.

Visiting Scotland from outside the EU

If you are a visitor from outside the EU, please contact the Local Authority in the area in which you wish to visit to establish whether there are arrangements in place for using your disabled person's badge.

 

  • Source Direct Scot
  • Last Updated: 21 Jan 2013