Blue badge scheme parks with county

NORTHUMBERLAND County Council is to take on the administration of the Blue Disabled Person’s Badge scheme, previously managed by the Primary Care Trust.

In line with a national change to the programme, this shift of responsibility will take effect from New Year’s Day and the authority believes it will make it easier for eligible customers to access the service.

Blue badges are issued to eligible people of any age, based on lack of mobility, to improve their quality of life through allowing them to park close to where they need to be.

The reforms are designed to address a number of issues, including increasing demand for badges, inconsistent eligibility assessment and high levels of abuse and misuse of badges. The new badge is much improved with a new look and feel, making it more secure, durable and difficult to forge.

At a cost of £10, the badge will last for three years and Northumberland residents will be able to apply for a badge by telephone, email, post and in person.

Coun Andrew Tebbutt, Executive Member for Corporate Resources, said; “The changes to the scheme will see an improved, more accessible and fairer service for those people who have mobility issues.”

All residents who have a Blue Badge due to expire after January 1 will need to apply under the new modernised scheme. Customers only need to apply for the new style badge when their old one expires, or if it has been lost or stolen.

For more information about the new process, telephone 0845 6006400.