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Blue Badges for people with hidden disabilities

The Blue Badge scheme is to be extended to people with ‘hidden’ disabilities in the biggest overhaul to the system in 40 years, offering accessible parking for people who find travel difficult early next year.

Although people with non-physical disabilities are not excluded from receiving a Blue Badge, the current rules are open to interpretation. The new criteria will give clear and consistent guidelines on Blue Badge eligibility for the whole of England.    

People with hidden disabilities, including autism and mental health conditions will soon have access to Blue Badges, removing the barriers many face to travel.

The new criteria will extend eligibility to people who:

  • cannot undertake a journey without there being a risk of serious harm to their health or safety or that of any other person (such as young children with autism);
  • cannot undertake a journey without it causing them very considerable psychological distress; and
  • have very considerable difficulty when walking (both the physical act and experience of walking).

The government recently set out its plans to improve accessibility across all modes of transport in the Inclusive Transport Strategy which launched on 25th July 2018. The strategy aims to make the UK’s transport network fully inclusive by 2030.

Read Department for Transport - The Inclusive Transport Strategy: achieving equal access for disabled people