Around 2.4 million people with physical disabilities in England already have a badge – but the scheme has now been extended, meaning millions more people, including those with Anxiety, Depression and autism, can now apply for a blue badge under new government rules.
Millions more people will be able to apply for blue badge parking permits from Friday as new rules come into force to support those with hidden health concerns.
This will make it easier for people with conditions such as anxiety disorders to travel to work, socialise and access shops and services.
It is the biggest change to the blue badge scheme since it was introduced in 1970.
Depending on the location, the permits often enable holders to park free of charge in pay and display bays and for up to three hours on yellow lines, while in London they exempt holders from the congestion charge.
Under the changes, people living with dementia, anxiety disorders and reduced mobility, should find it easier to access a parking space.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We know that for some people, the possibility of not being able to find a parking space can make even leaving the house a challenge, which is why the blue badge is so important.
“The scheme, which is already a lifeline for so many disabled people, will make a huge difference to those with non-visible conditions such as autism, dementia, Parkinson’s and Arthritis .
“It is my sincere wish that these changes will improve even more people’s lives.”
Councils assess applications for blue badges and not everyone with a hidden disability will qualify for one.