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Blue Badge to be extended to people with 'hidden disabilities'

Blue Badge to be extended to people with 'hidden disabilities'

Following an eight week consultation the Government has announced that people with hidden disabilities, including autism and mental health conditions will soon have access to Blue Badges, removing the barriers many face to travel.

The Blue Badge scheme already means that people with physical disabilities can park closer to their destination than other drivers, as they are less able to take public transport or walk longer distances. In the biggest overhaul to the scheme since the 1970s, this will now be extended to people with less visible conditions early next year.

The new criteria will extend eligibility to people who:

  • Cannot undertake a journey without there being a risk of serious harm to their health or safety or that of any other person (such as young children with autism)
  • Cannot undertake a journey without it causing them very considerable psychological distress
  • Have very considerable difficulty when walking (both the physical act and experience of walking)

Although people with non-physical disabilities are not excluded from receiving a Blue Badge, the current rules are open to interpretation. The new criteria will give clear and consistent guidelines on Blue Badge eligibility for the whole of England.

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