New plans from Transport Minister Jesse Norman suggest people with hidden disabilities could now get greater access to blue badge criteria.
One of the significant changes that are to be proposed suggests that barriers for people with conditions such as dementia and autism will be removed. This will enable them to have more access to work, shopping and other amenities.
The focus remains on providing blue badge access to mental health patients with mobility issues and beyond. According to the report released by the government, around 75% blue badge holders say their outings would have been restricted without it.
Currently, 2.4 million people in England are holders of the blue badge out of which almost 284,000 in West Midlands have access to it. Other parts of England such as London and the East Midlands are low on the provisions of the badge.
Here is a breakdown of blue badge holders in England:
Mr Norman said
“Blue badges give people with disabilities the freedom to get jobs, see friends or go to the shops with as much ease as possible. We want to try to extend this to people with invisible disabilities, so they can enjoy the freedom to get out and about, where and when they want.”
The changes proposed are expected to give clear guidelines to local councils about recognising hidden disabilities.