Disabled parking

This section provides everything you need to know about disabled parking, including the blue badge scheme and applying for new on-street disabled parking bays.

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This section provides everything you need to know about disabled parking, including the blue badge scheme and applying for new on-street disabled parking bays.


If you have mobility problems, or from 30 August 2019, you have an invisible (hidden) condition which causes you to severely struggle with journeys, you may qualify for a blue badge, which allows you to park closer to public facilities.

From 30 August 2019 the Blue Badge scheme criteria will extend eligibility to people who:
  • Cannot undertake a journey without there being a risk of serious harm to their health or safety, or that of any other person
  • Cannot undertake a journey without it causing them considerable psychological distress
  • Have very considerable difficulty when walking (both the physical act and experience of walking)
As the new legislation does not come into force until 30 August 2019 we are unable to assess any applications or issue a badge under the new criteria until after 30 August 2019.

To check if you are eligible for a blue badge you can use the online eligibility checker that is available on Gov.UK.  You can also apply online from this site which is the fastest way to apply.

There are two types of eligibility criteria.

An individual’s eligibility for a blue badge is considered in terms of being “Eligible Without Further Assessment“ (previously known as automatic) or “Eligible Subject to Further Assessment” (previously known as discretionary).

Under the “Eligible Without Further Assessment“ (automatic) criteria you may be issued with a badge without further assessment if you are more than two years old and fall within one or more of the following descriptions:
  • You have a terminal illness and hold a DS1500 report from your GP or the MacMillan Nursing Trust. Apply online or complete our fast track form
  • Receive the Higher Rate of the Mobility Component of the Disability Allowance (HMRCDLA)
  • Receives 8 points or more under the “moving around” activity of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Receives the mobility component of PIP and have obtained 10 points specifically for Descriptor E under the “planning and following journeys” activity, on the grounds that they are unable to undertake any journey because it would cause them overwhelming psychological distress – no other Descriptor will automatically qualify
  • Is registered blind (severely sight impaired)
  • Receives a War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement (WPMS)
  • Has been awarded a lump sum benefit at tariffs 1–8 of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and certified as having an enduring and substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking
Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) awards are not included in the automatic criteria.

Under the “Eligible Subject to Further Assessment” (discretionary) criteria you may be issued with a badge after further assessment if you are more than two years old and be described as one or more of the following:‚Äč
  • A person who drives a vehicle regularly, has a severe disability in both arms and is unable to operate, or has considerable difficulty in operating, all or some types of parking meter
  • A person who has been certified by an expert assessor as having an enduring and substantial disability which causes them, during the course of a journey, to: 
    • Be unable to walk;
    • Experience very considerable difficulty whilst walking, which may include very psychological distress; or
    • Be at risk of serious harm when walking; or pose, when walking, a risk of serious harm to any other person. 
Any of the above three types of difficulty whilst walking could be caused by a physical disability, or by a “non-physical” disability.  In either case, the disability experienced by the applicant must have been endured for at least three years.

In addition, children under the age of three may be eligible for a blue badge if they fall within either or both of the following descriptions:
  • A child who, on account of a condition, must always be accompanied by bulky medical equipment which cannot be carried around with the child without great difficulty;
  • A child who, on account of a condition, must always be kept near a motor vehicle so that, if necessary, treatment for that condition can be given in the vehicle or the child can be taken quickly in the vehicle to a place where treatment can be given.
The badge costs £10, which is charged once your application is successful.

First you need to apply and send us your supporting evidence, to show you’re eligible for a badge. If your application is successful, we will contact you to take payment over the telephone so that we can process your blue badge quicker.

More information is available on the scheme on the GOV.UK website.
In a disabled bay (on street or in a council managed car park) - you can park free of charge and without time limit in a designated disabled bay while clearly displaying a valid blue badge.

In an on-street parking bay - where there is on-street parking available, blue badge holders may also park here free of charge and without time limit while clearly displaying a valid blue badge.  

In a council managed car park - where there are no designated disabled parking bays available in our car parks, blue badge holders can park in any other parking bay free of charge and up to the maximum stay while clearly displaying their blue badge and clock (set to the time of arrival).  

On yellow lines - if the disabled bays are unavailable and there is no on street parking bays, blue badge holders can park on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours while clearly displaying their blue badge and parking clock (set to the time of arrival).  

Please remember that blue badge holders may not park in spaces reserved for someone else, such as taxi bays and loading only.  This is in our Traffic Regulation Orders and is also reflected in the guidance laid out by the Department for Transport in The Blue Badge Scheme: rights and responsibilities booklets
A letter, text or email reminding you to renew your blue badge should be sent to you six to eight weeks before your badge expires. However, if your address or contact details are not up to date you may not receive the reminder, so please ensure you notify us of any change in your address and re-apply for your badge before it expires, you are responsible for ensuring you renew your badge.

We won’t automatically send you a new badge when your current one expires. We assess all renewals in the same way we assess brand new applications. That’s why you must complete a new form to renew your badge and provide all the information requested. This is because:
  • your situation, and what you are eligible for, may have changed
  • the criteria for a blue badge might have changed
The quickest and easiest way to renew your badge is online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge.
Alternatively you can download the application form and:  
If you are staying within Northumberland, you should contact our blue badge team to give them your new address. This will ensure the reminder letter about your badge expiring goes to the right address.

If you are moving to another county, inform your new council about your new address and you can carry on using your badge until expires. Six weeks before the expiry date you need to apply for your badge again via your new council.

If your badge is lost or stolen, please complete the replacement blue badge application form

You can email the application form, photograph and evidence to bluebadges@northumberland.gov.uk or return the application form by post to the address shown on the form.

We’ll contact you by telephone to take payment of £10 for the replacement badge.

You can also call into one of our customer information centres for assistance

Return it to the blue badge team, and we’ll cancel the badge and update our records without you needing to do anything else. You can also hand the badge into one of our customer information centres.
If you suspect someone is misusing blue badges, email bluebadges@northumberland.gov.uk or write to:

Northumberland County Council
Blue Badge Team
Wansbeck Square
NE63 9XL

Please include the following in your email/letter:
  • the blue badge serial number
  • the registration number of the vehicle using the blue badge
  • circumstances of the suspected misuse
  • date when the suspected misuse took place
  • your contact details - although you can make an anonymous report if you prefer
Please click here to view how we handle your information with regard to Blue Badge applications.
If you’d like to request a new ‘on-street’ disabled parking bay introduced at a public building or home address, email highwaysprogramme@northumberland.gov.uk.

To qualify for a residential disabled parking bay near your home, you must be a blue badge holder and:
  • demonstrate a genuine need for the bay requested
  • not have access to private parking within or near the premises
  • receive the higher rate mobility component of the disability living allowance
  • drive your own car or nominate a carer who drives you and resides at your address
  • provide copies of your driving licence and vehicle registration documents displaying your name and address
The application form also needs to be signed by a doctor or occupational therapist.

Applications for new bays take a minimum of three months. We will deal with applications as quickly as possible.

However, creating new parking places involves consultation with the local community, which can take time.