(The new legislation – could this affect you?)
Blue Badges and Mental Health in 2019
The Department for Transport has announced that it is extending the Blue Badge scheme so that more people with ‘invisible’ health problems, such as autism and mental health problems, can now apply.
About Blue Badges
Blue badges were originally introduced into the UK as Orange Badges, back in 1970 by the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970.
Not too much has changed since then, with the criteria of obtaining a badge being set around a person’s specific physical disabilities and subsequent benefits that entailed.
However, from 2019, those with less obvious conditions – such as mental health problems like depression or autism – will have the same right to park in disabled bays as those with physical disabilities.
The move comes following an eight-week consultation this year which highlighted that people with mental health problems often struggle with similar travel issues to the physically disabled.
So, if you consider that travelling in a car puts you (or your children if they have the disability) “at risk of serious harm to health or safety”, and those who also find journeys cause “considerable physical distress” or have difficulty with “both the physical act and the experience of walking” can also now apply for 2019.
Mind spokesperson, Vicki Nash said of the new legislation:
“Today’s announcement should mean that going forward, many more people with mental health problems will be able to more easily do the things lots of us take for granted – whether that’s buying groceries, going to doctor appointments or maintaining relationships with friends and family who provide vital social support.”