Anti-fraud features on new Blue Badge

PUBLISHED: 00:04 21 December 2011

Disabled parking sign

Disabled parking sign

Archant

Devon County Council implements improvements to Blue Badge parking scheme

SIDMOUTH residents eligible for a Blue Badge will soon be able to apply online.

The scheme is for those with severe mobility problems and allows Blue Badge holders to park close to where they want to access.

Being able to apply online is just one of a number of changes being made to the scheme that will be launched nationally in January.

This February, Government announced a major programme of reforms to the Blue Badge scheme to ensure disabled people had fair and equal access to the benefits offered by the concession – no matter where they lived.

Reforms will address current problems relating to abuse and misuse of badges.

From January 1, anyone issued with a Blue Badge will have their information held on a secure database and newly-designed, more robust badges, with anti-fraud features, will be issued.

Local authorities have been authorised to charge a maximum fee of £10 to issue a badge and while Devon County Council doesn’t currently charge, it is reviewing its policies in early 2012.

Cabinet member with responsibility for highways and transportation, Councillor Stuart Hughes, said: “The Blue Badge system is designed to help some of our most vulnerable residents in Devon and it’s very important that we make it as fair and accessible as possible.

“There have been instances of misuse where badges have been forged or stolen, so our aim is to stamp down on this as well as make sure everyone who needs a badge receives one.”

From January 1 residents can apply on line at www.direct.gov.uk and check whether they are eligible for a badge. They can also apply by telephone, calling Care Direct: (0845) 1551 007.


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