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Parking in a disabled bay

| Insurance

If you have a disability, or care for someone who has a disability, having a Blue Badge and using a disabled parking space can be a real benefit. Not only are you more likely to find a suitable space, but you may be able to park closer to your final destination and should be more easily able to avoid obstacles such as stairs or high kerbsides. This could make being independent that much easier.

You can apply for a Blue Badge for yourself, on behalf of somebody else or an organisation that transports people that need a Blue Badge.

But what are some of the rules around blue badges and parking in disabled spaces? We’ve tried to cover as much as we can below, so keep reading to find out where you can park with a blue badge.

Can anyone park in a disabled space?

To park in a disabled parking space, you must have a blue badge to display on the dashboard, otherwise you could be fined or you could receive a parking notice.

It’s worth noting that the blue badge belongs to a specific person and not to a car, so if you’re travelling with a badge holder, the pass can still be used, so long as they are with you. For instance, if you’re giving a lift to a disabled parent, you can put their badge in the dashboard of your car. You cannot park in a disabled space without a blue badge.

Can I park in a disabled bay outside a house?

Some homes apply for a disabled parking bay to be introduced outside their house. However, this isn’t just for use by the resident. Rather, it can be used by any disabled person with a blue badge. If you have a badge, then you can park in the disabled bay outside of someone else’s home.

Can drivers with disabilities park anywhere?

Drivers with disabilities have much more parking freedom if they have a blue badge.

Should you qualify for or have a blue badge, you will be able to park for free in disabled parking spaces. These are labelled with a road marking depicting a wheelchair or the word 'Disabled'. On streets that have parking meters and on single or double yellow lines you can park in these bays for up to three hours as long as there isn't a 'No Loading' sign.

This should give you much more freedom when it comes to parking, and disabled spaces often allow easier access to your final destination, such as a supermarket.

The minimum age to qualify for a blue badge is three years old. The applicant, or the person for whom the badge is being sought, must also meet any of the following criteria:

  • You receive a higher-rate Disability Living Allowance
  • You are severely sight impaired or blind
  • You receive the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
  • You receive a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) because you can’t walk for more than 50 metres
  • You receive a PIP and have received 10 points for section E, which suggests you cannot undertake any journey as it causes severe distress
  • You’ve been confirmed as having a disability that means you cannot walk or have severe difficulty walking and have received a one-off payment within levels one to eight of the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces scheme

Should any of the above apply to you, you automatically qualify for a blue badge and will be accepted upon application.

You may also qualify for a blue badge if any of the following applies to you:

  • You can’t walk or you can’t walk without help from someone else or mobility aids
  • You find walking very difficult and experience lots of pain and breathlessness
  • Walking is a potential danger to you
  • You have a terminal illness that prevents you from walking or makes it difficult
  • You have a disability in both arms and cannot operate pay-and-display parking meters
  • You are a significant risk to yourself or others in traffic, car parks or vehicles
  • You are extremely anxious or fearful of open spaces or public areas
  • You find it difficult or impossible to control your actions and can have overwhelming responses to certain situations.

When these things apply to you, you could be able to get a disabled parking badge, though you won’t automatically be accepted.

How big is a disabled parking space?

Disabled parking spaces are generally the same width as standard bays, however, there is more space between each bay that is usually marked out with white or yellow crosses on the road to enable sufficient access for those with limited mobility and wheelchair users. This makes them approximately 1.2 metres wider than a standard space and they have a total width of 3.6 metres.

Some spaces may be slightly smaller than this, but the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee states that, as a minimum, bays especially for disabled badge holders must be 2.7 metres wide.

To find out about parking in a disabled space, applying for a disabled parking space or applying for a Blue Badge visit your government website.

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