From BBC News.
Blue badge parking permits are to be made available for people in England with “hidden disabilities” such as autism or mental health problems.
The Department for Transport said people with non-physical disabilities would have an equal right to free parking from next year.
Currently the rules do not explicitly exclude hidden disabilities, but councils’ interpretations can vary.
Similar changes have come into effect in Scotland and Wales.
When the changes to the blue badge scheme in England are introduced, they will extend eligibility to:
- people who cannot make a journey without “a risk of serious harm to their health and safety” or that of others, such as young children with autism
- people for whom travel causes “very considerable psychological distress”
- and those with considerable difficulty walking, meaning “both the physical act and experience of walking”
About 2.4m disabled people in England currently have a blue badge.
The scheme, first introduced in 1970 to make access easier for disabled people, costs £10.
It allow holders to park for free in pay-and-display spaces across the UK and for up to three hours on yellow lines.
The blue badge concessions do not apply to privately-run car parks. They also can not be used in central London, where residents need to apply for a special permit, although they do provide an exemption from the congestion charge.
To read the rest of this story, click on the link below: