Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Blue Badge Scheme: Hidden Disabilities

What recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the blue badge scheme for people with hidden disabilities.

 

Michael Ellis Minister of State (Department for Transport)

From 30 August 2019, the blue badge scheme will include non-visible as well as visible disabilities. This change will be assessed 12 months after implementation, using feedback form the public, stakeholders and local authorities who administer the scheme. We will be tracking how many badges are awarded under the new criteria.

 

Mike Wood: I welcome the £1.7 million that has been allocated to councils to implement the new regulations, but will the Minister encourage local councils to spend that money on autism training for assessors, so that they can have a better understanding of how autism can affect people’s ability to travel?

 

Michael Ellis Minister of State (Department for Transport)

Yes I will. My hon. Friend is right: the £1.7 million of funding is to support local authorities in the administration of the scheme. Local authorities can use their share of the funding to train assessors on specific conditions such as autism. We will let local authorities make the actual decisions on how the money can be used most effectively to support the implementation of the new regulations, but I hope that local authorities will look sympathetically at the difficulties faced by people with autism.