Disabled drivers facing blue badge charges

First published in News Times Series: Photograph of the Author by

Disabled drivers could be charged for blue parking badges under a wave of transport reforms proposed by Barnet Council.

The authority hopes to recoup nearly £200,000 from drivers and passengers that are either blind or live with mobility-related disabilities by charging £10 to issue the permits.

Blue badges allow disabled users to park in free and dedicated spaces close to public amenities and on single yellow lines for up to three hours.

Central government has ordered that local councils cannot charge more than £10 for the badges, which the authority says cost less than £20 to administer.

The scheme has always been provided free of charge but Barnet Council plans to introduce the fees under a range of changes to its statutory transport services, provided for people with limited mobility.

Within the proposals, the authority hopes to merge its door-to-door transport services with Brent, Ealing, Harrow and Hounslow in a bid to save cash.

In consultation papers published on its website, the council states the move will “maintain if not improve” services on a smaller budget.

The council’s Travel Voucher Scheme, providing reduced taxi rates for people with limited mobility, will also be scrapped under the plans.

Although 342 people are signed up to the scheme, the council says just 95 regularly use the service.

In a bid to reduce the number of people using statutory mini-bus travel, the council is also looking to train volunteer services to assist people who have difficulty using public transport.

The Conservative administration hopes the volunteer-led assistance will encourage more people to use public transport and relieve some of the burden on its own transport services.

A public consultation into the proposal ended this week, with the matter due to be discussed at a cabinet meeting later this year.

Comments (18)

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11:20am Fri 10 Aug 12

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

Wow: here we go, One Barnet Tories going straight for the most vulnerable residents once again - These People, eh Brian? Yes, make'em pay, the Tory way. Just beyond belief.
Wow: here we go, One Barnet Tories going straight for the most vulnerable residents once again - These People, eh Brian? Yes, make'em pay, the Tory way. Just beyond belief. Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
  • Score: 0

11:27am Fri 10 Aug 12

Neiltheboss says...

What? volunteer services to assist people using public transport?

What happens if someone has an accident? Where is liability. Someone please stop this now. Barnet Council you are really going too far with cuts
What? volunteer services to assist people using public transport? What happens if someone has an accident? Where is liability. Someone please stop this now. Barnet Council you are really going too far with cuts Neiltheboss
  • Score: 0

11:30am Fri 10 Aug 12

MrMustard says...

I'm getting off the road straightaway.

Blue badges for drivers...who are blind...

I do hope not.
I'm getting off the road straightaway. Blue badges for drivers...who are blind... I do hope not. MrMustard
  • Score: 0

11:50am Fri 10 Aug 12

MichaelH says...

Tory councillors, who have free parking permits, are making the disabled pay for Blue Badges? What sick hell is this that we're living in?
Tory councillors, who have free parking permits, are making the disabled pay for Blue Badges? What sick hell is this that we're living in? MichaelH
  • Score: 0

11:54am Fri 10 Aug 12

Mr Reasonable says...

The vulnerable of Barnet cost money to support but make up the minority of voters. Simply solution make the vulnerable pay as their votes are dispensable and majority will be financially better off so will help retain votes. Sadly that is what One Barnet is all about.
The vulnerable of Barnet cost money to support but make up the minority of voters. Simply solution make the vulnerable pay as their votes are dispensable and majority will be financially better off so will help retain votes. Sadly that is what One Barnet is all about. Mr Reasonable
  • Score: 0

5:43pm Fri 10 Aug 12

james smyth says...

Why shouldnt these people pay to park?
If they dont want to pay to park in an actual car park or bay then park on the street on a single yellow for free.
That way not only will they not have to pay they will free up some spaces for others.
It really is selfish of them to take up a bay when they dont contribute anything when they could legally park on the street
Why shouldnt these people pay to park? If they dont want to pay to park in an actual car park or bay then park on the street on a single yellow for free. That way not only will they not have to pay they will free up some spaces for others. It really is selfish of them to take up a bay when they dont contribute anything when they could legally park on the street james smyth
  • Score: 0

5:56pm Fri 10 Aug 12

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

James Smyth: if I thought that you were a real person, and not a brainless parody, I would hunt you down and give you a kick up your rear end strong enough to project you into outer space. Failing that, I would force you to live for one week with a disability that requires you to rely on the provision of accessible parking, and on an income stripped of benefit by your own beloved Tory government.
James Smyth: if I thought that you were a real person, and not a brainless parody, I would hunt you down and give you a kick up your rear end strong enough to project you into outer space. Failing that, I would force you to live for one week with a disability that requires you to rely on the provision of accessible parking, and on an income stripped of benefit by your own beloved Tory government. Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
  • Score: 0

6:33pm Fri 10 Aug 12

Grumblepop says...

Looks like the Barnet Tories prefer the Swastika as their emblem of choice while James Smyth is happy to follow with the Brown shirt. Some of our local politicians should know better. was it not the Nazis who picked on the disabled before teir went further or have some of those councillors selectively lost their memory.

Thios is when Conservatives of any creed become the insult to humanity
Looks like the Barnet Tories prefer the Swastika as their emblem of choice while James Smyth is happy to follow with the Brown shirt. Some of our local politicians should know better. was it not the Nazis who picked on the disabled before teir went further or have some of those councillors selectively lost their memory. Thios is when Conservatives of any creed become the insult to humanity Grumblepop
  • Score: 0

12:46am Sat 11 Aug 12

james smyth says...

@mrs angry

how more accessible parking does a blue badge holder want?
is being able to park on a single yellow for up to 3 hours for free not enough?

@ grumblepop.....i think you have lost your memory .....what does "teir" mean ?
you lot live in the past,move on and get with it.

if you hate barnet so much,why dont you move ?
@mrs angry how more accessible parking does a blue badge holder want? is being able to park on a single yellow for up to 3 hours for free not enough? @ grumblepop.....i think you have lost your memory .....what does "teir" mean ? you lot live in the past,move on and get with it. if you hate barnet so much,why dont you move ? james smyth
  • Score: 0

12:49pm Sat 11 Aug 12

Grumblepop says...

@ James Smyth

As you would not wish to embarass me further on my failure to proof read, did you note the other errors in my comment. the capital 'W' after the full stop. The 'o' in the word beginning the last paragraph. The error you made a point of, should be the word 'they'

Your name should begin with capital 'J' and a capital 'S'. The same rule would applies to, " @mrs angry and " @ grumblepop "

My dear James Spyte, if you give me both your hands to replace mine, I'll make an effort to do better.
@ James Smyth As you would not wish to embarass me further on my failure to proof read, did you note the other errors in my comment. the capital 'W' after the full stop. The 'o' in the word beginning the last paragraph. The error you made a point of, should be the word 'they' Your name should begin with capital 'J' and a capital 'S'. The same rule would applies to, " @mrs angry and " @ grumblepop " My dear James Spyte, if you give me both your hands to replace mine, I'll make an effort to do better. Grumblepop
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Sat 11 Aug 12

jomargaret says...

What a lot of fuss and spite about nothing. I have a disabled parking pass, and the way I read it is that I am to be asked to pay £10 every three years to renew the pass - who could honestly complain about that!
What a lot of fuss and spite about nothing. I have a disabled parking pass, and the way I read it is that I am to be asked to pay £10 every three years to renew the pass - who could honestly complain about that! jomargaret
  • Score: 0

3:45pm Sat 11 Aug 12

rony says...

This James Smyth thing sounds like one of those not too bright new Tories councillors. now guess who...
This James Smyth thing sounds like one of those not too bright new Tories councillors. now guess who... rony
  • Score: 0

3:52pm Sat 11 Aug 12

rony says...

"the move will “maintain if not improve” services"
"Disabled drivers could be charged for blue parking badges"
"reduced taxi rates for people with limited mobility, will also be scrapped"
"The Conservative administration hopes the volunteer-led"

I would say there are some discrepancies here - who the hell authorized this press release? can't they even put some thinking into it?
"the move will “maintain if not improve” services" "Disabled drivers could be charged for blue parking badges" "reduced taxi rates for people with limited mobility, will also be scrapped" "The Conservative administration hopes the volunteer-led" I would say there are some discrepancies here - who the hell authorized this press release? can't they even put some thinking into it? rony
  • Score: 0

3:54pm Sat 11 Aug 12

james smyth says...

Hands in the air for jomargaret !!
A disabled person who agrees with what Barnet wants to do and actually realises what a golden ticket she has with her Blue Badge despite costing the devastating amount of just over £3 per year!
Hands in the air for jomargaret !! A disabled person who agrees with what Barnet wants to do and actually realises what a golden ticket she has with her Blue Badge despite costing the devastating amount of just over £3 per year! james smyth
  • Score: 0

7:27pm Sat 11 Aug 12

rony says...

well jamesy, where exactly do you read that? "A disabled person who agrees with what Barnet wants to do"
well jamesy, where exactly do you read that? "A disabled person who agrees with what Barnet wants to do" rony
  • Score: 0

8:54pm Sat 11 Aug 12

Mr Reasonable says...

Sadly Jomargaret, it isnlt just about £10 for the blue badge administration, it is also about the scrapping of the travel voucher scheme and using voluteers to take over the statutory minibus scheme. I was at the meeting when Brian Coleman talk about taking away transport for "those people". Barnet see the disabled as an expense with limited votes and all of their strategies such as the ironically named "fairer charging policy" are evidence of that attitude.
Sadly Jomargaret, it isnlt just about £10 for the blue badge administration, it is also about the scrapping of the travel voucher scheme and using voluteers to take over the statutory minibus scheme. I was at the meeting when Brian Coleman talk about taking away transport for "those people". Barnet see the disabled as an expense with limited votes and all of their strategies such as the ironically named "fairer charging policy" are evidence of that attitude. Mr Reasonable
  • Score: 0

1:07am Sun 12 Aug 12

james smyth says...

jomargaret wrote:
What a lot of fuss and spite about nothing. I have a disabled parking pass, and the way I read it is that I am to be asked to pay £10 every three years to renew the pass - who could honestly complain about that!
|@ ronsy
just for you seeing as you obviously need to learn to read first ......punch keyboard last and to save you "trolling" through the posts!
[quote][p][bold]jomargaret[/bold] wrote: What a lot of fuss and spite about nothing. I have a disabled parking pass, and the way I read it is that I am to be asked to pay £10 every three years to renew the pass - who could honestly complain about that![/p][/quote]|@ ronsy just for you seeing as you obviously need to learn to read first ......punch keyboard last and to save you "trolling" through the posts! james smyth
  • Score: 0

4:17pm Mon 13 Aug 12

Rog T says...

It strikes me as inequitable that Barnet Tory Councillors get free parking permits, yet expect the disabled to pay for theirs. Yet again the concept of us all being in it together doesn't seem to apply to cossetted Tory Councillors.

Given Barnet's track record on such stealth taxes, if it follows the example of CPZ parking permits, the disabled will be paying £100 a year in ten years time, after s long succession of "slightly above inflation" increases.

When was the last year that went by when the Tories didn't introduce another stealth tax and hike the existing ones?
It strikes me as inequitable that Barnet Tory Councillors get free parking permits, yet expect the disabled to pay for theirs. Yet again the concept of us all being in it together doesn't seem to apply to cossetted Tory Councillors. Given Barnet's track record on such stealth taxes, if it follows the example of CPZ parking permits, the disabled will be paying £100 a year in ten years time, after s long succession of "slightly above inflation" increases. When was the last year that went by when the Tories didn't introduce another stealth tax and hike the existing ones? Rog T
  • Score: 0

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