Blue Badges Scheme is Changing
Archived news: published on Wednesday 21 Dec 2011 by Fife Council
The new look blue badge
IMPORTANT changes to the blue badge parking scheme are on the way.
The scheme which is administered by Fife Council on behalf of the Scottish Government has been in place since 1971 and helps people with disabilities retain their independence by allowing them to park close to where they need to go.
There are over 21,500 blue badge holders in Fife and the changes being introduced by the government are designed to make the scheme fairer, tackle fraud and misuse of the scheme, and improve customer service.
Fife Council’s Resources Co-ordinator Jane Pilmer explained: “From January 1st next year all blue badge holders who want to renew their badges or apply for a new one will have to use a new national application form. If you have requested a form recently you may already have been asked to fill in this new form. Please continue to use your current badge until it expires.
“The new form is a bit different to the old one and people will find that the questions asked are looking for more detail about their physical disability and how it affects their ability to walk.
“The blue badges themselves have also been redesigned to make them harder to tamper with, copy or forge. They will be made of plastic instead of cardboard, include digital photographs and will be more robust.
“We’re working now to get information out to blue badge holders in Fife who will be approaching the time to renew their badge so they know about the changes.”
The improvements to the scheme are being welcomed by disability groups in Fife.
Alan Suttie, Chief Executive of Fife Society for the Blind commented: "By the nature of their disability, blind and partially sighted people cannot drive and are totally reliant on either public transport or other people to take then shopping, on social visits or to appointments.
“For this reason the blue badge scheme is an essential element to ensure they can be taken as close to a venue as possible allowing the driver/guide to leave the vehicle and guide them in to a building or shop. Improvements to the scheme will hopefully cut down on abuse and misuse which often result in our volunteer guides and drivers being unable to park and drop blind people off."
And the Fife branch of the MS Society added: “The misuse of blue badges causes great inconvenience and sometimes the inability of a disabled person to get where they need to be. We at the MS Society welcome this change in the scheme, which will go some way to alleviating the frustrations and stress that it can cause by the inconsiderate few who are guilty of doing this – they have our space would they like our disability?”
You can apply for a blue badge:
- on-line at: www.bluebadgescotland.org
- by calling 08451 55 00 66 to have form posted or e-mailed to you
- by e-mailing European.firstname.lastname@example.org to have a form e-mailed by return.
- by collecting a form from your Local Office.
People should continue to use their current blue badges until the expiry date shown on the badge and should apply for a new one six weeks before the expiry date.
Added Jane: “You can hand your form into a Local Office with any documents needed. There is guidance to help you with the form but if you need help with your application, please phone 08451 55 00 66 to make an appointment for your Local Office. “
More information is available at www.fifedirect.org.uk/BlueBadge
For more information contactBlue Badge Administration (lines open 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.)
Tel: 03451 55 00 66 Contact Blue Badge Administration (lines open 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.) online
By Post: Fife House North Street Glenrothes Fife KY7 5LT