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Blue Badge scheme


The blue badge scheme supports those with restricted mobility to lead independent lives. The badge provides parking concessions for on-street parking, allowing badge holders to park close to where they need to go. 

Select a topic to read more:
Our responsibilities | Blue badge users | Local authority information | Recent scheme developments | Welfare reform New enforcement powers | Blue Badge Scheme – Pilot - Extension to Eligibility

The Blue Badge signOur responsibilities

Transport Scotland is responsible for the legislation which sets out the framework for the scheme and provides support to local authorities to help them deliver the scheme.

Local Authorities are responsible for administering the scheme and issuing blue badges to eligible applicants.

Blue badge users

Information for blue badge users and the public, including how to check your eligibility and apply for your blue badge, is available at Blue Badge Scotland.

There you will also find information on:

  • Contact details for your local authority who are responsible for administering the scheme;
  • Information about how to use your blue badge, including leaflet ‘Rights and responsibilities of a blue badge holder’, and;
  • Information and leaflets on using your blue badge when travelling in the EU and the differences in each country.  

Local Authority information

Transport Scotland provides guidance to Local Authority staff on administering the blue badge scheme.

Local Authority staff can share experiences, pose questions and seek guidance on the administration of the blue badge scheme from other local authorities at the Local Government Association's Knowledge Hub.

All BBIS newsletters, information sheets etc. will be posted in the BBIS online community library.

Recent scheme developments

Changes to the blue badge scheme are made in response to the results of consultation and user feedback.

Welfare reform

In April 2013, the blue badge eligibility criteria was extended as a result of the UK Government's welfare reforms and the introduction of Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Blue badge holders who move from Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (HRMCDLA) to PIP and new recipients of PIP will need to meet the eligibility criteria in The Welfare Reform (Consequential Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2013 to passport automatically to a blue badge.

In June 2014, the blue badge eligibility criteria was further extended. The Disabled Persons (Badges for Motor Vehicles) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2014 introduces two new eligibility criteria for a blue badge, covering people who were in receipt of HRMC DLA, but who no longer get that award due to being assessed. The first new criteria applies to those who do not receive PIP at a rate to passport, and who have challenged that decision with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The second new eligibility criteria ensures that those who were in receipt of a ‘lifetime’ or ‘indefinite’ HRMC DLA award will retain passporting entitlement to a blue badge. Provision is also made to allow a blue badge to be issued against an extended HRMC DLA award under the existing HRMC DLA passporting arrangement of the scheme. Further information is available on this information note.

New enforcement powers

The Disabled Person’s Parking Badges (Scotland) Act 2014 has received Royal Assent and will come into force in March 2015 (exact date to be confirmed). 

The Act will strengthen enforcement powers for local authorities when dealing with blue badge misuse. 

In summary, the provisions:

  • allow confiscation of blue badges which are no longer valid or are being misused by third parties
  • provide a power for local authorities to cancel a blue badge which is no longer in the possession of the holder, for example where it has been reported as lost or stolen
  • make it an offence to use a cancelled badge or one which should have been returned to the issuing local authority under the blue badge regulations
  • allow local authorities to use plain clothes officers carrying identification and authorisation to inspect and confiscate badges 
  • introduce a requirement for local authorities to have a review process in place for applicants who have been refused a blue badge; and
  • provide that some elements of the blue badge specification can be set administratively by Scottish Ministers rather than being prescribed in regulations.

Blue Badge Scheme – Pilot - Extension to Eligibility

With effect from 1 April 2016, the Blue Badge Scheme is being extended on a pilot basis to some people who suffer from diagnosed ‘mental disorders’.  The pilot will operate across all 32 local authority areas in Scotland for a period of 12 months and if an application is successful under the terms of the pilot, a badge will be issued for 12 months, irrespective of when the application was made during the 12 month pilot period.

Please note that this pilot is being run separately from the rest of the Blue Badge scheme, by way of a separate paper application form only. The online form cannot be used to apply for a badge under this pilot.

To apply contact your local authority directly for an application form.

The basis for this pilot was a Call for Evidence which gathered data on extending the scheme to include;

“People, who as a result of a diagnosed mental disorder or cognitive impairment, have no awareness of danger from traffic and are likely to compromise their safety, or the safety of others.”

A Working Group, made up from representatives of disability organisations, local authorities and healthcare professionals was formed to consider the findings from the Call for Evidence and agreed that a 12 month pilot would enable us to monitor the impact of change and would allow us to ascertain how to effect the change on a permanent basis.

In order to make an application an individual will need to be able to:-

  • Confirm a diagnosed ‘mental disorder’ (as defined in the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.)
  • Confirm receipt of either the higher or middle rate of Disability Living Allowance, the higher or lower rate of Attendance Allowance or at least eight points in respect of activities 7, 8 and 9 of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
  • Provide confirmation from a healthcare professional or registered social worker that they have no awareness of danger from traffic and is likely to compromise their safety, or the safety of others.

The full details of the criteria which must be met to be eligible under the pilot proposal is contained within the application form, which can be obtained by contacting your local authority as per the link above.

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