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Consultation on extension of Blue Badge Scheme to cover temporary conditions launched

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

Transport Minister, Edwina Hart, has launched a consultation on extending Blue Badge eligibility for temporary conditions and streamlining the assessment process.
Tuesday 19 January 2016

The proposed changes to the Blue Badge Scheme, which provides parking concessions to people with disabilities in Wales, come from a wide ranging review by the Task and Finish Group set-up to consider improvements to the scheme.

Proposals include extending the Blue Badge eligibility to people with temporary qualifying conditions that are likely to last at least 12 months, the need for independent assessments, speeding up the process for those re-applying for a badge and improving enforcement to tackle fraudulent use. A communication campaign will also be run to raise awareness of changes and to help tackle abuse of the scheme.

Mrs Hart said:

“The Blue Badge Scheme plays a vital role in improving access to employment and services for people with disabilities. The Welsh Government has already listened to concerns raised about the current system to make important changes to extend eligibility and ensure consistency and fairness in the way it is delivered.

Wales already has the most generous eligibility criteria in the UK but I want to see it extended further to those with temporary conditions that restrict their mobility. The Group have also made a number of recommendations on streamlining the system and on tackling abuse of the scheme.

Some of the recommendations cannot be realised immediately, as they will require changes to primary legislation in order to be implemented.  Further investigations will take place about the potential for a single body to administer the scheme across Wales, and about making guidance for Blue Badges statutory. But one area we can start work on now is communication. I think one of the main problems is lack of understanding of the scheme, who the scheme is meant to benefit and how badges should be used.  A communications campaign will be a main cornerstone of the forward work programme.”

 

 

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Blue Badge Scheme in Wales: Changes to eligibility to include people with temporary impairments, assessment and enforcement 2016

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