Public invited to have their say on changes to Blue Car Badge scheme

Blue Car Badge users will be able to have their say on changes to the scheme. Picture by Anthony Devlin
Blue Car Badge users will be able to have their say on changes to the scheme. Picture by Anthony Devlin

BLUE Car Badge users can have their say on changes to the scheme as part of a public consultation, open until October 26.

The Blue Car Badge scheme offers those with severe mobility problems greater freedom to park where it is convenient for them.

From January 2012 the cost of a badge, could increase to £10 as part of wider changes to the parking scheme.

East Sussex County Council is inviting Blue Car Badge users and carers of those that hold a badge, to give their views.

The survey can be completed online or by post, and the results will feed into a report to be presented to the cabinet member for Adult Social Care in November.

The Department of Transport is making changes nationally that will mean that local authorities will have to pay a fee for producing each badge, of £4.60 (excluding VAT). They will have the freedom to increase the maximum fee they can charge users from £2 to £10.

East Sussex County Council proposes to increase the fee to the £10 maximum, to cover the cost of producing the badge, administration costs, and to leave scope for improving the service.

This amount must be paid on application, and is non-refundable even if the application is unsuccessful.

As part of the national changes, therapy staff at mobility clinics will carry out assessments of people who do not automatically qualify for a Blue Car Badge, rather than doctors.

There is also an emphasis on reducing fraudulent use of the badges. All badges are to be printed and supplied by a single company to reduce the potential for forgeries and alterations.

For more information or to complete the survey visit www.eastsussex.gov.uk/yourcouncil/consultation/2011/bluebadge/default.htm, phone 01323 464244, or email bluecarbadges@eastsussex.gov.uk.