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Blue Badge Scheme

Where do I obtain a Blue Badge? 

Bedford Borough Council
Blue Badges
Borough Hall
Cauldwell Street
Bedford
MK42 9AP

Tel: (01234) 718009

Email: blue.badges@bedford.gov.uk

If you wish to download a Blue Badge application form please do so by clicking on one of the following links:

Blue Badge Application Form - Individuals             Blue Badge Guidance Notes - Individuals           

Blue Badge Application Form - Organisations

 

You can also apply for a Blue Badge online using the following .Gov link:

https://www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge

 

Do I have to pay for my Blue Badge?

Bedford Borough Council will charge a fee of £10 for each Blue Badge issued (this includes new applications, renewal applications and replacement badges).

 

The Council will collect payment via one of the following methods:

 

New Applications/Reapplications

 

A member of staff from the Council will call you to notify you that your application for a Blue Badge has been successful and payment is due. You will be given one of the following payment options:

 

  1. Debit/credit card details can be taken over the phone and payment will be taken (a receipt for this transaction can either be emailed or posted to you).
  2. A ‘Blue Badge Payment Request’ form can either be sent to you via post or collected from the main Customer Service Centre (Horne Lane) or Borough Hall reception. This form will need to be completed fully and payment made via one of the methods illustrated on the form.

 

Please note if we are unable to contact you via telephone after seven working days we will send you a ‘Blue Badge Payment Request’ form.

 

Note - If you do not receive your Blue Badge within 28 days of making payment you MUST inform Bedford Borough Council on 01234 718009. Failure to report the non-receipt of the badge within 28 days will result in you having to pay an additional administrative fee.

 

Replacement Applications

 

To replace lost badges applicants must pay the required £10 fee and provide a lost property number from the police.  

 

Please report the loss of your Blue Badge by calling 01234 228588. At this point you will be given the following methods of payment:

 

  1. Debit/credit card details can be taken over the phone and payment will be taken (a receipt for this transaction can either be emailed or posted to you).
  2. A ‘Blue Badge Payment Request’ form can either be sent to you via post or collected from the main Customer Service Centre (Horne Lane) or Borough Hall reception. This form will need to be completed fully and payment made via one of the methods illustrated on the form.

 

Note - If you do not receive your Blue Badge within 28 days of making payment you MUST inform Bedford Borough Council on 01234 718009. Failure to report the non-receipt of the badge within 28 days will result in you having to pay an additional administrative fee.

 

PLEASE BE AWARE UNTIL PAYMENT IS RECEIVED A BLUE BADGE CANNOT BE ISSUED

                      PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANY PAYMENT WITH YOUR APPLICATION FORM

 

What is the Blue Badge Scheme?

The Blue Badge Scheme provides a national arrangement of parking concessions for people with severe walking difficulties who travel either as drivers or passengers. The scheme also applies to registered blind people, and people with severe upper limb disabilities who regularly drive a vehicle but cannot turn a steering wheel by hand. It allows badge holders to park close to their destination, but the national concessions apply only to on-street parking. Details are set out in the 'Where to park' section below. In addition, other concessions may be available to badge holders - see the 'Other concessions for badge holders' section below.

You can download the Blue Badge application form, complete it and return it with the requested enclosures to:

Blue Badges

Second Floor

Room 215

Borough Hall
Cauldwell Street
Bedford
MK42 9AP

 

You can apply for a Blue Badge if:

  • you receive the higher rate of the mobility component of the Disability Living allowance 
  • you received the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) of 8 points or more for 'Moving Around'
  • you receive a War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement
  • you receive a lump sum benefit under the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces (Compensation) Scheme within tariff levels 1-8 (inclusive)
  • you are registered blind
  • you have a severe disability in both upper limbs, regularly drive a motor vehicle but cannot turn the steering wheel of a motor vehicle by hand even if that wheel is fitted with a turning knob 
  • you have a permanent and substantial disability which means you are unable to walk or have very considerable difficulty in walking. In this case you may be asked to answer series of questions to help the local authority determine whether you are eligible for a badge People with a psychological disorder will not normally qualify unless their impairment causes very considerable, and not intermittent, difficulty in walking.

*Special Rules for children under two

A parent of a child who is less than two years old may apply for a badge for their child if the child has a specific medical condition which means that they :

a) must always be accompanied by bulky medical equipment which cannot be carried around without great difficulty ;

and/or

b) need to be kept near a vehicle at all times, so that they can, if necessary, be treated in the vehicle, or quickly driven to a place where they can be treated, such as a hospital.

A list of bulky medical equipment referred to above may include;

  • ventilators
  • suction machines
  • feed pumps
  • parenteral equipment
  • syringe drivers
  • oxygen administration equipment
  • continuous oxygen saturation monitoring equipment
  • casts and associated medical equipment for the correction of hip dysplasia

 

A local authority will issue a badge if the equipment is always needed and cannot be carried without great difficulty

Examples of highly unstable medical conditions that mean children who have them may need quick access to transport to hospital or home may include

  • tacheostomies
  • severe epilepsy/fitting
  • highly unstable diabetes
  • terminal illness that prevent children from spending any more than brief moments outside and who need a quick route home.

Please note this list is not exhaustive

 

To check if you meet the eligibility criteria for a Blue Badge please see the Blue Badge Assessment Form.

 

Organisational Badge

An organisational badge may be issued to an organisation for use in a motor vehicle(s) when the vehicle(s) are be used to carry disabled people who would themselves be eligible for a badge.

Where possible applicants who meet the eligibility criteria should apply for their own badge.

 

Photographs

The Blue Badge is a two-sided card with space for a photograph of the badge holder on the back of the card. Your application should, therefore, be accompanied by 2 reasonably recent photographs, which you should sign on the back. You may send passport-type photographs taken from self-service booths or any suitable photographs cut down to a passport photo size (the Bedford Borough Council reserves the right to refuse photographs it deems unsuitable for identification purposes).

 

Where does the scheme not apply?

  • on private roads
  • in off-street car parks. However, some may provide spaces for disabled people. You should check the signs to see what concessions are available, and whether Blue Badge holders have to pay. Always display your Blue Badge when occupying one of these spaces.
  • in certain town centres, where access is prohibited or limited to vehicles with special permits issued locally.
  • in Central London but some facilities are provided
    on the road systems at some airports (e.g. Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester). You should therefore contact the airport concerned in advance to check the car parking arrangements.

 

Where to Park?

Badge holders may park free of charge and without time limit at parking meters on-street and "pay-and-display" on-street parking unless a local traffic order, specifying a time limit for holders of disabled parking Badges, is in force.
The Blue Badge must be displayed.

Badge holders may be exempt from limits on parking times imposed on other users. (Check local signs for information.)

Badge holders may usually park on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours in England and Wales, or without any time limit in Scotland except where there is a ban on loading or unloading, and at a few locations where local schemes apply, e.g. the area of Central London coloured light blue in the map.

The Blue Badge must be displayed, and in England and Wales the disabled person's parking disc must also be displayed showing the time of arrival.

There must be an interval of at least one hour from a previous period of waiting before the same vehicle can be parked in the same road or part of a road on the same day.

 

Where should you not park?

The Blue Badge is not a licence to park anywhere. You must NOT park:

during the time a ban on loading or unloading is in force (normally indicated by one or two yellow marks on the kerb at the times shown on post mounted plates) .

For example:  

Loading prohibited 24 hours a day,7 days a week, for at least 4 consecutive months.

Loading prohibited for any lesser period. The arrow indicates the direction in which the prohibition starts.

However, in pedestrian areas, waiting and loading restrictions may be in force even where there are no yellow lines shown on the road or kerb. Details of any restrictions in force will be shown on plates displayed at the kerb side of the road:

 

  • where there are double white lines in the centre of the road even if one of the lines is broken
  • in a bus or tram lane during its hours of operation
  • in a cycle lane
  • on any clearway, double or single red lines during their hours of operation
  • on Zebra, Pelican or Toucan crossings
  • on zig-zag markings before and after Zebra, Pelican or Toucan crossings
  • in parking places reserved for specific users e.g. loading bays, taxis, cycles
  • on a residents parking bay, unless there are signs showing that you may do so, or you have checked with the local authority's Highway Department that you may do so
  • in suspended meter bays or when use of the meter is prohibited
  • where temporary restrictions on parking are in force along a length of road e.g. as indicated by no-waiting cones
  • on school "keep clear" markings during the hours shown on a yellow no-stopping plate
  • You must also not park where it would be obstructive or cause a danger to others. The following are likely examples:
  • at school entrances, bus stops, on a bend, or near the brow of a hill or hump bridge 
  • where it would make it difficult for others to see clearly e.g. close to a junction
  • where it would make the road narrow e.g. by a traffic island or where roadwork is in progress
  • where it would hold up traffic e.g. in narrow stretches of road or blocking vehicle entrances
  • where emergency vehicles stop or go in and out e.g. hospital entrances
  • where the kerb has been lowered or the road raised to form a pedestrian crossing
  • on a pavement unless signs permit it

Please remember….

If you park where it would cause an obstruction or danger to other road users your vehicle could be removed by the police. You could also be prosecuted and your badge withdrawn.

Vehicles cannot legally be wheel clamped on the public highway for parking offences provided a valid Blue Badge is correctly displayed on the vehicle. But you should be aware that if you park improperly on privately owned land you may risk having your vehicle wheel clamped.

The vehicle must be moved if a police officer or a traffic warden in uniform requests it.

 

How to use the badge

You must display the badge on top of the dashboard or facia panel of a vehicle with the front of the badge (i.e. the side showing the wheelchair-user symbol) facing forward so that the relevant details are legible from outside of the vehicle when using the parking benefits. If the vehicle does not have a dashboard or facia panel you must exhibit the badge in a conspicuous position on the vehicle so that the relevant details are legible from outside the vehicle when using the parking benefits.

The badge should only be displayed when using the parking benefits under the Scheme, except if the vehicle is being driven by someone other than the badge holder for the purpose of entering or leaving an area (which is accessible only to vehicles displaying a Blue Badge) in order to pick up or drop off the badge holder.

Similar badges given to organisations caring for disabled people must not be used by non-disabled members for their own benefit. These badges must not be on display except when the vehicle is being used for the benefit of disabled people.

Badges last for a maximum of three years. When you need to renew your badge apply to the issuing authority for reassessment some weeks before the badge expires.

You must return the badge to the issuing authority if you no longer need it.

 

How to use the disabled person's parking disc

In England and Wales you will need a parking disc (which you can get from the authority issuing the badge) when you park on yellow lines or in a reserved parking place for badge holders which has a time limit. The disc must be displayed every time you park and set to show the time of arrival.

 

Your duties as a badge holder

You must ensure that you use your badge with care and attention to the rules.

It is your responsibility to ensure that the badge is used properly. It is in your own interest that the badge should retain the respect of other motorists.

You must not allow other people to use the badge. To reduce the risk of this happening accidentally, you should remove the badge whenever you are not using the parking concessions except in the circumstances listed at the end of the 'Misuse of a badge' section below.

You must ensure that the details on the front of the badge remain legible. If they become unreadable, the badge must be returned to the local authority for re-issue.

You should not use the badge to allow non-disabled people to take advantage of the benefits while you sit in the car. Although it is not illegal for a badge holder, or a non-disabled person waiting for the badge holder to return, to remain in the vehicle while the Blue Badge is displayed, consideration should be given to using a car park wherever possible.

 

If you are a disabled driver

Remember that if you are a disabled driver and your disability is such that it is likely or may become likely to affect your ability to drive (even if your car is adapted) the law requires you to inform:
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
Swansea
SA99 ITU

 

How to request an on-street disabled parking bay

Bedford Borough Council can allocate a disabled parking bay outside or near to your home (subject to criteria). The purpose of the bay is to allow a disabled driver/passenger to park close to their home. Whilst we can allocate a disabled bay in your street, this bay can be used by all Blue Badge Holders and is not specifically allocated to the applicant.

To request a disabled parking bay outside your home, please contact the Highways Helpdesk whom will send you the relevant application to complete.

PLEASE NOTE: The provision of an on-street parking bay is not automatic

 

Misuse of the badge

Misuse of a Blue Badge is a serious offence.

Your badge can be withdrawn if you misuse it or allow others to misuse it.

It is a criminal offence for non-disabled people to use a badge. If they do so, they are liable to a fine of up to £1000.

It is a criminal offence to drive a vehicle displaying an Blue Badge unless the badge holder is in the vehicle, or the vehicle is being driven by someone other than the badge holder for the purpose of entering or leaving an area (which is accessible only to vehicles displaying an Blue Badge) in order to pick up or drop off the holder.

Please click here to report misuse of a Blue Badge using an online form

 

Misuse of a designated Blue Badge bay

Non-disabled people who park in a bay designated for Blue Badge holders are liable to a parking fine.

 

Other concessions for badge holders

In many areas local authorities provide reserved parking places for badge holders. You should use these spaces in preference to parking on yellow lines. Local authorities may impose a time limit on the use of such spaces. You must always display a valid badge when occupying one of these spaces, and if a time limit is in force a disabled person's parking disc must also be displayed.

Some local authorities also waive charges in their own off-street car parks. You are advised to check the notices in the car park to see if, and where, you can park free of charge.

Badge holders are exempted from tolls at certain river crossings. Further details of these concessions may be obtained by writing to:

The Department of the Environment Transport and the Regions
Disability Branch
Mobility Unit
Zone 1/11
Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DR

Telephone: 020 7944 6800

With the introduction of the new European-style blue badge, badge holders will be able to take advantage of the disabled motorists parking privileges wherever they are in the European Union. Further details of the benefits available may be obtained by contacting the Department as shown below.

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