Blue Badge pilot scheme is extended
The disabled person’s parking badge pilot, which was launched in April 2016, has been extended to Autumn this year. People who think they might be eligible are being invited to contact their local authoritiy.
The eligibility criteria have been revised and extended under the pilot to allow people who pose a risk to themselves or others in traffic to apply for a disabled person’s parking badge, provided they meet the criteria.
Transport Scotland has been working closely with local authorities and disability organisations to extend the scheme to those who may be eligible under the new criteria.
Extending the pilot will allow more information to be gathered about how the extension works in practice, and enable partners to consider how best to extend the scheme.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said:
“The Scottish Government believes in the absolute rights of disabled people to live a life of equal opportunities like any other citizen.
“We’re committed to identify and remove disabling barriers which prevent people travelling or make their journeys unpleasant. That is why I was pleased to launch Scotland’s first Accessible Travel Framework last year. One of the outcomes of the Framework agreed by disabled people and their representative organisations is that more disabled people make successful door-to-door journeys, more often.
“I’m therefore pleased to announce this extension to the Blue Badge scheme. By extending the eligibility criteria of the scheme, this pilot allows more people the opportunity to access the support necessary to suit their everyday transport needs.”
Iain Smith, Policy and Engagement Team Manager at Inclusion Scotland and member of the Blue Badge Working Group, said:
“Blue badges support independent living by enabling people who would otherwise not be able to get out and about to access facilities such as work, education, community, social or health services in the same way as others can. Inclusion Scotland therefore welcomes the extension of this pilot scheme as we work together to look towards making the scheme permanent.”
Elaine Harley, Helpline Manager at Alzheimer Scotland and member of the Blue Badge Working Group, said:
“We welcome the extension of the Blue Badge pilot scheme to cover people living with cognitive impairments and we’re pleased that the pilot is being extended for a further period of time. We know of several families whose lives have been greatly improved since the person living with dementia was granted a Blue Badge, and we hope that increased publicity for the scheme will encourage even more eligible families to apply.”
Councillor Peter Johnston, COSLA Health & Well-being Spokesperson said:
“COSLA welcomes the continuation of the Blue Badge pilot which extends eligibility to people with a cognitive impairment. The experience and information this will provide will help ensure that the policy is properly designed and resourced so that those with such challenges, who would benefit most from a Blue Badge, are able to do so.”
A decision on permanent changes to eligibility criteria and associated rules will be made at the end of the pilot, in the Autumn.
Note to editors
Transport Scotland established a Working Group in 2015 to develop proposals for, and evaluate the practical consequences of, an extension to eligibility criteria to handle cases where:
“People, 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.”
The Group is chaired by Transport Scotland and comprises representatives of disability organisations, local authorities and healthcare professionals. The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities is also a member of the Group.
The Working Group has carried out its work on the basis of co-production, including with respect to legislation. Therefore, the Working Group agreed the legislative measures to introduce the pilot scheme and has agreed an extension to the pilot beyond its planned 12 months duration is necessary and appropriate to ensure proper evaluation.
Local authorities are responsible for the administration and enforcement of the scheme in their area. They provide a separate application form to apply under the pilot scheme. People who think they might be eligible and wish to apply under the pilot, should contact their local authority’s Blue Badge team.
Information about how to contact local authority Blue Badge teams is available at www.mygov.scot/apply-blue-badge/eligibility-who-can-have-one/
The eligibility criteria have been extended to:
(a) A person who has a mental disorder within the meaning in the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003,
(b) who receives specified social security benefits at specified rates, and
(c) who lacks awareness of danger from traffic, which is likely to compromise their safety, or the safety of others, as a result.