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If you can apply then you're not qualified

Catch 22 for blue badges

The number of people with disabled parking permits or ‘blue badges’ has increased in recent years. Under the old system a GP was asked to verify whether the person could walk 100m. It is not easy to check in a small doctor’s surgery whether someone can walk 100m. The old system wasted doctors’ time and was inefficient. Under the new system Cheshire East Council is responsible for deciding who should get a blue badge. We support efforts to reduce the number of blue badges and to make the system less bureaucratic. Sadly it seems the new system could be worse than the old.

The rules say that you only qualify if you can’t walk 100m and temporary disabilities don’t count. So according to the rules, a 96 year old with a dodgy hip doesn’t qualify, because if/when the hip is better, they will be able to walk 100m.

Then there is the Catch 22 appeal system. Appeals are dealt with in the council offices. If you can’t come you don’t get the badge. If you can get yourself to the council offices then clearly you can walk 100m and so you don’t qualify for the blue badge. Either way you don’t get a blue badge under the appeals system – Catch 22.

Surely a simple ‘risk based’ approach (rather than a tick box approach) would be better. For example a 35 year old with no known medical issues applying for a new blue badge, might be asked to provide more evidence of their disability than a 96 year old applying for a renewal of a blue badge who proudly states that they can walk 100m (with a following wind if their dodgy hip isn’t playing up that day).

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