Blue Badges are invaluable, but not everyone living with Parkinson’s who is entitled can get one.
Every UK local authority (or the Blue Badge Unit of the Department of Infrastructure in Northern Ireland) can issue a badge to people with mobility issues.
This includes people who experience considerable difficulty, or are at risk of serious harm, when walking. This could be due to pain, anxiety or freezing.
Having a Blue Badge means the badge holder can park in areas that are restricted for other drivers. That means Blue Badge holders can park closer to entrances and can get to their final destination more easily.
Parking spaces are also wider, allowing for mobility aids to be used right from the door of the vehicle, further reducing the risk of falls.
But, we’re hearing that some English local authorities are failing people with Parkinson's, with some people with the condition being denied a Blue Badge.
Others are being asked for excessive amounts of evidence when they apply. And those who get a Blue Badge will often have to reapply every 3 years, despite there being no improvement in their mobility.
Campaigning improves access to Blue Badges
When people with Parkinson’s in Norfolk were being denied renewals of their Blue Badges, they got in touch with Parkinson’s UK.
Local Campaign Officer, Georgina Sait, raised this issue with Norfolk County Council.
Georgina explained that Parkinson’s is a complex, fluctuating and degenerative neurological condition, and therefore Blue Badges should be automatically renewed for people living with the condition, without having to go through another assessment.
Thanks to Georgina’s intervention, Norfolk’s Blue Badge team manager agreed and now people with the condition who hold a Blue Badge in Norfolk will have it renewed, without having to submit new medical evidence.
We want to make sure people with Parkinson’s in England are able to access and renew Blue Badges if they need to.
So if you or someone you know with Parkinson’s has had trouble getting and keeping a Blue Badge, let us know by emailing [email protected]. Please tell us which area you live in and some background on your Blue Badge application.
Once we know about the issues that people with Parkinson’s are experiencing, we can challenge local authorities to make sure our community is getting what they need.