Blue Badge

A Blue Badge is a badge issued by the Blue Badge scheme, which can enable you to access free, discounted and accessible parking. It is for people who have a disability or condition that compromises their ability to use public transport or to who need to park close to where they need to go. 

Could I apply?

Applying for a Blue Badge can help both you as a carer as well as the person you care for to increase independence and confidence when getting out and about. 

Here you will find information on where to start when applying for a Blue Badge with some answers to some commonly asked questions around eligibility and applying. 

How can it help me?

  • With a Blue Badge you can park closer to your destination or access a larger parking bay, making mobility access easier. 
  • In certain circumstances you can ask for a disabled parking bay outside your home. 
  • Some toll roads and bridges offer exemptions on toll fees. Always check offers before you travel to be sure of what they offer. 
  • If you have a Blue Badge and are in receipt of qualifying benefits you may also be exempt from paying road tax. 

Who can apply?

Anyone who has a disability, whether this be a physical, sensory or mental impairment, who has compromised mobility as a result of their condition, and is eligible for qualifying disability benefits, can apply for a Blue Badge. These conditions include hidden disabilities, which may not always be apparent, such as dementia or anxiety, where they might experience considerable psychological distress or be at risk of harm to themselves or others. 

As a carer you can also apply on behalf of someone else, such as the person you care for. 

If you or the person you care for does not receive any qualifying benefits you can still apply for a Blue Badge through the ‘further assessment route’. This includes people who may have been receiving Disability Living Allowance and did not qualify for Personal Independence Payment in their re-assessment for disability benefits. 

How to apply

You can apply online by visiting the Bedford Borough Website website or The Central Bedfordshire Website. 

To apply: 

  1. You’ll need a recent digital photo showing your head and shoulders.
  2. You’ll also need a photo or scan of your:
  • proof of identity (such as a birth certificate, passport or driving license) 
  • proof of address (such as a Council Tax bill or government letter) 
  • proof of benefits (if you receive any) 
  1. You’ll also need to know:
  • your National Insurance number (if you have one) 
  • the details of your current Blue Badge (if you are reapplying) 

What do I do if I am refused?

If you’ve been refused a Blue Badge, you can ask for the decision to be reviewed by your local council. 

You can do this by replying to their decision letter explaining why the reasons listed on your letter are wrong, in as much detail as you can, including any details you might have missed in your application. For example, if you have mobility problems, explain why using parking meters is painful or why it’s difficult for you to walk very far to get from your car to a shop. 

Include scans, copies or photographs of any evidence you have, for example: 

  • a letter from your doctor, physiotherapist or another medical expert 
  • proof of your address, such as energy or council tax bills – if your local council don’t think you really live in the area 
  • proof of your identity with your picture on it, such as a passport – if your council doesn’t believe you’re the person you say you are 

It’s worth doing this if you can’t walk more than 80 metres – about the length of 7 double decker buses, or if you can’t use a parking meter because of problems with your arms.  

If you already have a Blue Badge and have been refused a renewal, if it’s still valid you can use it until you get the result of your review.