Difficulties faced by disabled motorists applying for blue badge parking permits in England will be tackled with a series of new measures, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.
In 2019 the eligibility criteria was extended to include people with hidden disabilities, but many struggle to provide the correct evidence to support their request.
The DfT said it has accepted all the recommendations put forward by a review of the scheme conducted by Valtech Ltd, which provides an online service for applicants.
These include providing guidance to drivers and medical experts about what evidence is required to support applications, which are made to councils or on the gov.uk website.
Motorists could be allowed to submit video evidence to provide better context to their situation.
The DfT will share best practice of assessment styles across local authorities, and monitor approval rates.
Accessibility minister Chris Heaton-Harris said the recommendations are “relatively small things but added together they will make quite a fundamental difference to the slickness of the process of applying for a blue badge”.
He told the PA news agency that the Government wants to make the procedure “more uniform between local authorities so people can understand what they’re doing wherever they’re doing it around the country”.
He went on: “It’s actually one of those things that comes up a lot, whether an MP can help a constituent through the process of the blue badge scheme.
“Hopefully this will make it easier.”
In May last year the DfT said more than 2.8 million people in the UK held a blue badge.
The badges are designed to help people access shops and services by allowing them to park closer to their destination.
Depending on the location, the permits often enable holders to park free of charge in pay-and-display bays and for up to three hours on single and double yellow lines.
In London they can be used to apply for an exemption from the Congestion Charge.