The Blue Badge Scheme is a national arrangement that offers special parking provision for some people with disabilities, and enables parking for either drivers or passengers closer to the required destination.
The scheme is administered by local authorities who deal with applications and assessments as well as the issue of the badges. If you are registered blind or have a mobility disability you may be entitled to a blue badge – contact your local council for details.
For details of parking concessions in Europe for holders of blue badges, please contact the Department for Transport.
Basic rules for Blue Badge Holders
- Always display your badge and clock clearly on the dashboard of the vehicle
- Never stop where your vehicle will cause an obstruction to traffic or pedestrians
- Never stop on white ‘zig-zag’ markings
- Never park on the pavement (except where signs indicate that this is legal)
- Never park in suspended bays
- Be careful to observe the special rules for central London (City of London, City of Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea and parts of Camden) and Gatwick and Heathrow airports
- Do not park on red routes, unless you are in the signed red route box bays provided
- Do not allow others to use your blue badge – this is a criminal offence.
Blue Badge holders may apply for a 100% discount to the Congestion Charge zone. Information can be found on the Congestion Charge page of the Transport for London website, where there is also specific information about the Blue Badge exemption.
Blue Badge Fraud
Blue Badge fraud usually takes two forms. This is either the misuse of valid badges by friends and family members not permitted to use the badge, or by drivers using lost, stolen or counterfeit badges. In all instances, the illegal use of Blue Badges constitutes a criminal offence. All councils, together with the Metropolitan Police, City of London Police, British Transport Police and Transport for London are determined to stamp out Blue Badge fraud and will aim to prosecute abusers. A successful prosecution will result in a criminal record and a hefty fine (usually over £1000).
Blue Badge Database
To help combat Blue Badge fraud, London Councils have set up a database of all lost, stolen and fraudulent Blue Badges reported in London. This also includes a record of badges not returned to the authority after the death of the holder. All of the 33 London local authorities record this information, as well as badge sightings and seizures, on a regular basis. The Metropolitan Police and Transport for London both have full access to the database. This information on can be used on street by the Police, Civil Enforcement Officers and dedicated fraud teams with the aim of identifying lost stolen and fraudulent badges, seizing the badge and prosecuting the driver.
Enforcement and Prosecution for Blue Badge Fraud
The Blue Badge database is a key tool in combating fraud. Since the database has been made available, over 100 badges have been seized and 15 Blue Badge abusers have been successfully prosecuted. Details of enforcement activity and prosecutions for Blue Badge fraud in a number of boroughs can be found below: