News Archive

What are the Blue Badge parking rules?

Published: 02/10/2023

In the UK, one of the most widely-known programs to aid differently abled people live their day-to-day lives is the Blue Badge parking scheme. These distinctive blue badges are often displayed on car windshields and grant their holders certain privileges when it comes to parking.

For example, a wheelchair user can use their Blue Badge to park on double yellow lines to be closer to the entrance of a shop, even if normally you wouldn’t be able to. This helps to alleviate any stress or even physical pain they may experience in navigating the car park.

However, parsing through the web of Blue Badge parking rules can sometimes be a perplexing task. In this article, we’ll be exploring the rules around obtaining a Blue Badge; how to correctly display a Blue Badge; where Blue Badges are accepted and how you can use them; and finally, why you can still get a parking fine when displaying a Blue Badge and how to appeal a fine if you feel like you were using your badge properly.


How do you get a Blue Badge?

People with certain conditions are automatically entitled to a Blue Badge. This includes:

  • Those who receive the higher rate of the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Those who receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP) due to an ability to walk
  • Those who are registered blind
  • Those receiving a War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement

However, there are others who will be automatically entitled to a Blue Badge, and others who may still be eligible, even if they don’t automatically qualify.

The Blue Badge scheme is a government-funded program, but it is administered by your local council. Because of this, the best place to find information for how your area administers the badges is to visit your local council’s website.

In England and Scotland, and depending on your local council, Blue Badges may not be free. In England, you can be charged up to £10 for a Blue Badge. In Scotland, you can be charged up to £20. If you live in Wales, thankfully, Blue Badges are always free.

One of the best sources for finding the requirements for a badge is the UK government’s guidance on who can get a Blue Badge. This resource will tell you who is automatically entitled to a badge, who could be eligible, and the exact documents required to request a badge.


Where can you use a Blue Badge?

When it comes to how a Blue Badge should be used, the rules can get a little bit complicated, and many may still be confused about how exactly they should be used. In this section, we will explain where Blue Badges let you park in the simplest terms possible.

Unfortunately, one of the major themes of the Blue Badge rules is that it doesn’t work everywhere, and is intended for parking in specific circumstances. This is because it is administered differently from council to council, and because private businesses are not obligated to follow it. If you are ever unsure of the rules, you can contact your local council to clarify.


Public Parking Spaces

Blue Badges are primarily intended to be used in public parking spaces. That means public streets with parking meters, disabled parking bays on streets, and on single- and double-yellow lines. Specifically, a Blue Badge lets you:

  • Park on streets with parking meters or pay-and-display machines for as long as you need to.
  • Park in disabled parking bays on streets for as long as needed, unless there is a sign that says there is a time limit
  • On a single- or double- yellow line for up to three hours unless there is a “no loading” sign. (Some councils do let you park even if there is a “no loading” sign; contact your local council if you’re not sure).

One great thing about the Blue Badge scheme is that badge holders can request a disabled parking space near their home. Again, you will need to contact your local council to learn the details. Sometimes, this is free, but different councils will have different rules.


Private Parking Spaces

Something that many Blue Badge holders may not realise is that it doesn’t work everywhere. In fact, private car parks – such as car parks in supermarkets and hospitals – are not obligated to follow the Blue Badge scheme and will have their own set of rules.

Sometimes, these spaces will have Blue Badge parking, so the best way to find out is to look for information on the relevant website, or contact them to find out more information.


Other areas where the Blue Badge scheme does not apply

Another aspect of the scheme to be aware of is that some areas have different parking schemes for disabled people. This is especially true in areas of London, including airports.

For example, in the City of London, disabled badge holders have to follow specific rules, and the City runs its own Red Badge scheme for people who work in the area. Meanwhile, at Heathrow Airport, the Blue Badge scheme does not operate on public roads for security reasons, but accessible parking is available for Blue Badge holders in Short Stay, Long Stay and Business car parks.

Because of this, if you’re a Blue Badge holder and you’re planning to visit London temporarily, we highly recommend you find out where registered disabled drivers can park beforehand.


How should you display your Blue Badge?

The rules for displaying a Blue Badge are extremely simple. If you are parking in a space that accommodates Blue Badge holders, then you should display your badge face up, the right way around, and somewhere visible through your windscreen.

If you have parked somewhere with a time limit, as we mentioned in the article above, then you need to set the parking clock on the Blue Badge to the time that you arrived. This lets the parking warden know how long you’ve been in the space.


Parking fines and Blue Badge holders

You might be able to tell that the rules around holding Blue Badges are more complicated than they first appear. Only public parking spaces are obligated to follow Blue Badge rules, and even then, the rules can differ between different areas. Private parking spaces, such as those managed by Total Parking Solutions, will sometimes follow Blue Badge rules, but may have different rules for disabled parking.

Because of this, simply displaying your Blue Badge may not be enough to avoid a parking fine. Wherever you’re parking, you need to make sure you are aware of the rules so that you don’t get surprised!

If you feel like you have used your Blue Badge properly and you’ve still been fined, you need to contact the parking enforcer for the area, whether that’s your local council for public parking spaces or a company like Total Parking Solutions for private areas. In our case, you can always submit an appeal through our Appeals Portal.

Other News Stories...

Call Us 01536 680 107

Follow Us

Send us an enquiry

Contact Us