'We're not invisible!' - Blue Badge holders could be exempt from low traffic neighbourhood fines

'We're not invisible!' - Blue Badge holders could be exempt from low traffic neighbourhood fines

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Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 21/05/2024

- 10:32

Updated: 23/05/2024

- 15:49

MPs gathered evidence on whether LTNs should exempt Blue Badge holders

Blue badge holders could be exempt from all fines in low traffic neighborhoods (LTNs) as a parliamentary debate gets underway.

The House of Commons debate looks at imposing a nationwide exemption policy for blue badge holders entering LTNs.

Marsha de Cordova, Labour MP for Battersea, explained that disability is not a “geographical issue” with many local Blue Badge holders suffering as a result of LTNs.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, MPs gathered to debate whether to exempt blue badge holders from LTN fines.

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blue disabled sign in car

Blue Badge holders are currently not exempt across all local authorities


Currently, local authorities can charge drivers £130, reduced to £65 if paid within 14 days for entering LTNs.If the charge is not paid, the penalty will increase to £195.

Marsha de Cordova explained that not all LTNs have Blue Badge exemptions.

Although LTN schemes are different everywhere and councils have different policies for Blue Badge holders, she warned that “disability is not a geographical issue”.

The lack of exemptions has led to there being a “postcode lottery”, de Cordova added.

The debate follows a petition by Mike Spenser which received over one thousand signatures calling on the Government to make it a mandatory policy.

He stated that the Government must make it mandatory to include in the DVLA vehicle registration database, along with the name and address of vehicle owners, an "exemption marker" for those with Blue Badges or life-threatening conditions.

Spenser added that it must be at a “national level” and not on a local level as he believes most councils are “dysfunctional and fragmented” with many people working from home.

He commented: “Being fined causes physical hardship, anxiety, even mental health issues and we believe is discriminatory under the Equality Act 2010. It’s wrongly assumed that many disabled people can walk or cycle. We’re not invisible.”

In response to the petition and debate in Parliament, Guy Opperman, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Roads and Local Transport, said the Government is keen to continue working with local authorities to help resolve the impact fines have on people.

The MP for Hexham stated that councils should have “considered, ongoing, good-practice principles” when looking at fines for LTN breaches.

Opperman added: “I assure the petitioners, who are the most important people here, that we are working to ensure that local authorities give proper consideration to the needs of all users and gain buy-in across the local community, in all shapes and forms, when discussing and then implementing any local authority LTN schemes.

“I cannot address much more, given the nature of the guidance being an unfinished document that the Government have to respond to.”


A Low Traffic Neighbourhood bollardDrivers can be fined £130 for breaching LTN rules PA

The outcome of the Blue Badge debate is expected to be announced in the upcoming weeks, with campaigners hoping for potential law changes in the future.

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