The Blue Badge Scheme

A copy of "The Blue Badge Scheme: Rights and Responsibilities in England" is provided to all successful applicants. The leaflet is also available in large print, Braille and audio tape format. Contact the Department of Transport for further details:

Department of Transport
Disability Policy Branch, Mobility & Inclusion Unit
Zone 1/18, Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street

Tel: (020) 7944 2914

CHANGES to the 'Blue Badge' Scheme came into effect on 1 January 2012, making it harder for drivers to abuse the system.

From January 1, the cost of a permit is £10 in the wake of Government-backed reforms which will lead to increased costs for Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council to run the local service.

The scheme is designed to help people - both drivers and passengers - with severe mobility problems get access to goods and services, by allowing them to park closer to facilities.

As part of the reforms, the Department for Transport has introduced the Blue Badge Improvement Service aimed at improving administration to tackle fraud and dealing with misuses of the scheme.

People will be able to apply for a Blue Badge, request renewal and notify changes of circumstances on-line through the Directgov website, although application forms can still be sent to the Council.

Payments can also be made on-line and badges, which are valid for three years, will be sent to holders' home addresses.

The new-look badges will have a 'true security print' design - already used in passports - helping to prevent forgery, copying and alterations.

The £10 fee will cover having badges designed, manufactured and delivered, although it still costs the authority more to process applications.

Councillor Steve Goldswain, Cabinet Member for Community Protection, said: "Due to the increase in costs imposed on the Council, we have no option but to cover some of those costs by raising charges for the Blue Badge.

"However, we have made a firm commitment to not charging for 'fast-tracked' applications for people with terminal conditions and will continue to meet these costs ourselves."

Further information about the Blue Badge Scheme can be found on the Department of Transport website.

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What is the Blue Badge Scheme?