Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Lancashire County Council Introduces £10 Blue Badge Fee

Lancashire County Council has become the final council in England to introduce a charge for Blue Badges.

From Tuesday 1st March, people and organisations will have to pay £10 when their badge is issued.

The scheme allows people with disabilities affecting their mobility to park closer to their destination, by using disabled bays and areas where parking restrictions may usually be in place. Blue Badges can be used in vehicles where an eligible disabled person is the driver or a passenger.

This move will help the county council cover 58% of the cost of the scheme. Over 27,400 badges were issued between March 2014 and April 2015.

County Councillor Tony Martin, cabinet member for adult and community services, said: "We are facing some tough decisions in light of the county council's current financial situation.

"Unprecedented cuts in government funding, combined with an increasing demand for our services, mean we have to save £65m over the next two years.

"We issue more Blue Badges than any other council in the country. Although there will be a charge for this service, it is still great value for money as they provide a range of parking concessions for a three-year period.

"The charge was proposed following a review earlier this financial year. We also made improvements to the scheme which have led to a reduction in waiting times, improved processing times and fewer formal complaints."

In addition to the £10 charge, organisations can now also apply for Blue Badges for vehicles that are being used to transport people with disabilities affecting their mobility.

Councillor Martin added: "By making Blue Badges available for community transport vehicles, we want to make it quicker and easier for people with disabilities to get closer to where they need to be."

The decision to approve the Blue Badge policy and introduce the £10 charge was taken on 10 December 2015.

In accordance with the guidelines governing the Blue Badge Scheme, set by the Department for Transport, all Blue Badge applications are treated as new applications, regardless of whether a Blue Badge has been held by the applicant previously.

The Department for Transport carried out a national consultation into Blue Badge charging in 2012. The Department for Transport sets the legislation that governs the scheme for all authorities.

• For more information about Lancashire County Council's Blue Badge scheme visit: www.lancashire.gov.uk/parking

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