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Roads to be made ‘accessible for all’

Roads to be made ‘accessible for all’


The blue badge law turned 50 last month, allowing parking benefits for disabled people.

Roads to be made ‘accessible for all’ as blue badge law turns 50 years old

On the 50th anniversary of the law that introduced blue badges, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has pledged to make roads ‘accessible for all’.

He said that the permits, which are used by 2.8 million people to get preferential access to parking, were a ‘lifeline’.

The Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act came into force on May 29 1970, requiring local councils to create badges for vehicles used by disabled people.

The following year, the first blue badges that have become commonplace today were introduced, and have undergone various developments over the past half a century.

Eligibility was expanded in 1975 to include blind people and allow holders to park on yellow lines.

Meanwhile, 2007 saw it expanded again to cover children under the age of two that needed to travel with bulky medical equipment. In 2019, the criteria were expanded again in England to include those with non-visible disabilities.

Mr Shapps said: “The blue badge scheme is a lifeline for so many disabled people. It makes transport easier to access for those who really need it.

Having extended the blue badge scheme for hidden disabilities last year, I am determined that this Government will do even more to ensure the UK’s roads are safe and accessible for all.

Accessibility minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “A lot has been achieved in the last 50 years to help disabled people, but we must continue to do more.

“This scheme, along with our inclusive transport strategy, is at the heart of this Government’s transport agenda.”

Blue badge benefits vary depending on location but often include free parking, three hours parking on yellow lines, and exemption from London’s congestion charge.

The idea is to promote accessibility and make it easier for blue badge holders to park closer to their destinations.