enables disabled people to park close to their destinations.
The decision to review the scheme comes after `consideration of
recommendations made by the disabled persons transport advisory committee (DPTAC) - the government's statutory advisers on the
local authorities who administer the scheme.
In response to a written Parliamentary Question from Oona King MP
(Bethnal Green and Bow), Keith Hill said:
'I have given very careful consideration to DPTAC's report and to the
further information which we sought from local authorities about the
administration of the Scheme. I have also taken the opportunity to
consult my colleagues in the devolved administrations and in Northern
'We have concluded that a review of the scheme is necessary to ensure
it continues to serve its fundamental purpose: to enable severely
disabled people to park close to their destinations. Without the
badge the mobility of those who are most disabled would be greatly
We will be starting the process in the New Year and will be reporting further progress to the House at that time. For now, I can confirm that the review will look at the eligibility criteria, as well as the administration and enforcement of the scheme.
'Although the Scheme in Scotland and Wales is a matter for the devolved administrations, and in Northern Ireland for the DOE
Northern Ireland, I have agreed with my colleagues that the review
will be carried out on a UK-wide basis. That arrangement will not,
however, prevent changes being introduced on a devolved basis.'
1. A paper entitled 'Review of the Orange Badge Scheme' was
published on 22 February 1999 by the government's statutory
advisors, the disabled persons transport advisory committee
(DPTAC). The paper called on the government to review the orange
badge scheme, to tighten the eligibility criteria and to deal more
effectively with those who abuse the scheme.
2. The government's intention is to initiate discussion groups
involving the key players - disability organisations, enforcement
authorities and local authorities. A group will also be set up, as
part of the consultation process, to oversee that exercise. A
detailed consultation document will then be drawn up for wide
circulation to organisations representing disabled and elderly
people, local authorities and their associations and enforcement
3. The review will be carried out in conjunction with the Scottish
executive, the Welsh Assembly and DOE (Northern Ireland).
4. The review is independent of the decision, taken by the
government in December 1998, to introduce the European-model blue
badge as a replacement for the current orange badge. Blue badges
will be phased in over the next three years as orange badges come
up for renewal, or new applications are processed. That change
affects only the design of the badge and does not impact on any of
the issues which will be subject of this wider review.