Social Research - The Use and Value of the Blue Badge Scheme

Appendix Two Focus Group Discussion Guide

Blue Badge Focus Group Discussion Guide

90 minutes

Introductions (5 minutes)

Facilitator introduces research and reminds participants about confidentiality and anonymity. Ask all participants to introduce themselves and give brief intro to their Blue Badge history.

  • Name
  • Local to the area?
  • How long had a Blue Badge?

1. Current use of a Blue Badge (20 minutes)

Facilitator to find out the types of usage of the Blue Badge and the circumstances in which a Blue Badge is used

  • Are you the driver or the passenger or both?
  • When using your Badge is it mostly for Social/Pleasure/Business?
  • When are you travelling - Daytime, weekends, evenings?
  • Where do you use your Badge? Off street parking (supermarkets, hospitals), on street (single or double yellow lines)
  • How frequently are you using the Badge - daily, weekly, less often?
  • What sort of distances are you travelling when you use the Badge? Is it travelling in your local area, or do you use it to travel further away?
  • On average how long are you parking for - 30mins, over an hour, more?
  • How did you find out about the Blue Badge scheme?
  • Do you think the scheme is well promoted? (How could it be improved?).
  • How easy was it to apply for a Badge in the first instance? (Renewals?) Any issues with language barriers when completing the form?

2. Value of the Blue Badge (25minutes)

  • What are the benefits of using the Blue Badge scheme?
  • What difference has the Blue Badge scheme made to you? (health, quality of life, financial savings, etc)
  • Without this scheme, what would your circumstances be? (would you still be able to drive/get out of the house/work, etc)
  • Without the Blue Badge scheme do you think you would.....(make more use of public transport, of taxis, rely on friends and family, park in free/cheapest space/pay to park in most convenient space, go out less often).

(Activity) - Ask participants to establish the important elements of the Blue Badge scheme and to rank them in order as a group, using flash cards For example: What are the important elements of the Blue Badge scheme? Which is the most important to you? Rank in order of importance...e.g. free parking, convenient to get a space, allows independence.

  • Do you also use public transport? (probe: concessionary bus travel, ferries, dial-a-bus?) - what are your experiences? How does it compare to using a Blue Badge? (probe independence, convenience, etc)

3. Misusing the Badge (15 minutes)

  • Have you come across examples of people misusing their Blue Badges? In what circumstances were people misusing their Badge? What should the punishments be?
  • Is the Blue Badge scheme adequately enforced?
  • Aware of rules regarding lending your Badge to friends or family? (ever been asked to lend your Badge to someone else? What happened?)
  • Does anyone have their own disabled parking bay outside of their house? (probe: how long had it for, is it for their sole use? Does it make a difference?)

4 Future use of the Badge (20 minutes)

  • What are the restrictions of use? Do you feel like you have a good understanding of these?
  • Do the restrictions have any impact on your personal use of the Badge?
  • Are there any places you avoid because of restrictions with the scheme?

(Activity) - split participants into smaller groups and ask them to discuss and feedback on:

  • What should Blue Badge holders be entitled to do - where and when should Blue Badge holders be able to use it? Who should qualify for a Blue Badge? Any restrictions on entitlement? Are the current criteria fair?

5 Thank and close (5 minutes)

  • Any other final comments from participants.

Facilitator to thank participants and remind them their comments will remain anonymous. Remind participants this information will be aggregated with other focus group participant comments to inform a report for Transport Scotland.