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Ataxia UK
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Does anyone with a Blue Badge have to pay parking charges?

A month ago I traveled with my family to Englands Flamingoland holiday park. We stopped at Helmsley (I think it was Helmsley, if not, then a nearby town) which is not far from the resort. I paked in a disabled space and noticed a sign saying that blue badge holders still had to pay. I didn't mind this at all but the parking machine was over at the other side of the car park where there were no spaces left or indeed any disabled spaces. Luckily my wife was in the car with me who went and purchased a ticket. This would be so inconvenient for a disabled person if they were on their own and were unable to park near the machine. I just found the whole thing very odd. Anyone experience anything simmilar?

17 Replies

You have to pay parking charges in Devon car parks and you are right the machines are not always that near to the disabled bays - probably the person laying out the spaces, etc. has no idea how inconvenient it may be for someone using the disabled bay to get to the machine to pay! Maybe someone needs to point it out to the car park owners?


Hi in one of our hospitals you have to pay charges even with a blue badge , the other 2 you don't,


Hi as far as I know all private car parks charge and some councils have their own rules. I went to Weston super mud with my daughter recently and on the seafront you could park free with a badge but only for 1 hour, so the moral is it varies car park to car park so always check


As John says council car parks disabled people park free however some councils (Cornwall for example) say you must get road tax exemption or have an adapted vehicle, I'm not sure how they will limit it when there are no tax disks. They mean well but there must be people they miss!

Privately owned car parks usually give free parking at their discretion I have had a similar experience as I have a WAV which is 2.5 metres tall so I can't get into underground or multistorey car parks. My most local shopping centre is served by a multi storey but there are onroad parking in the next town over is an underground car park with a small section for oversized vehicles which has a pay machine on a kerb thing, the first time I phoned them (number on the machine) explained my problem and they took my reg to not charge me and just to leave a note in future.



The vast majority of parking in Scotland is free for disabled. And in most places there is no limit time either. I believe some private car parks are free too


Until diagnosed worked for Mencap post retirement and some of the guys had blue badges.

My colleague parked in local Iceland to come back to a £60 charge

"You get reserved parking but not for free"

This was not readily obvious - may well have cost them future business.



The Royal Free Hospital in London only allows free disabled parking in designated parking spaces, and then you have to take your blue badge in to reception who inspect it and keep it until you collect it when you want to leave. You leave the 'clock' part of the blue badge on display in the car.

Also, watch out if you drive into London, as Westminster Council discriminates against non-Westminster blue badge holders. For those living outside Westminster, you can only park in designated disabled parking spaces. Only those living in Westminster can park at Pay and Display and on single yellow lines.

I found this out the expensive way...


I like the idea of taking your badge to reception and is inspected. This would prevent disabled parking abuse. Very discrimitave though, not being able to park at Pay and Dislpay or on single yellow lines unless you live in the area.


I can certainly see the benefits of having blue badges checked - my supermarket always has many counterfeit blue badges taking up the disabled bays. I'm not sure that was the original intention though.


Hi all

I have recently had to go to my local hospital (Blackpool Victoria) on a few occasions. They have built a new multi-storey car park. I parked in a designated disabled bay and had to take my token (which I got on entering the car park) to an attendant in a window where the token was exchanged for another so I didn't have to pay.

I went the following day and there were no free designated disabled spaces. I had to park in a regular space, put my blue badge in the windscreen, and then went to exchange my token. I noticed on my way to the 'window' there were a number of cars in disabled bays which were not displaying blue badges. When I got to the window I was told only blue badge holders parked in designated disabled spaces could park free of charge. Anyone in a regular space, whether they have a blue badge or not, had to pay. I was furious.

I also noticed in this particular car park even if you have a blue badge and are parked in a disabled space but it is after 7pm when there is none available to exchange your token, you have to pay. It is not the amount of money that bothers me, but rather the principle. I think all blue badge holders should be exempt from paying whether in a disabled space or not OR all blue badge holders should have to pay, again irrespective of the type of space you are parked in. Ggrrr. I don't think they have heard of consistency!



That is absolutely disgraceful Harriet. It must have been extremely difficult and uncomfortable trying to get yourself out of the car in a much narrower regular parking space. Parking in car parks anywhere where it is free for disabled should mean just that and not just for those who are quick enough to grab a free only disabled space.


Just checked Glasgows Royal Infirmary new Multi parking Harriet. Although there are reserved disabled spaces, everyone pays the same rate. Thats fair enough but I would like to think that they have plenty of spaces for disabled and regularly check for parking abuse.


I agree with Ian, it must have been very awkward to say the least

having to manoeuvre yourself out of a car when there's restricted

opening for the door, I would have had steam coming out of my ears.

Obviously not enough supervision in the car park.

My mother used to have a Blue Badge, she wasn't a driver but she had

eye and balance problems. We'd go to the MetroCentre and even though

we had her badge I always refused to use the disabled bays. I would have

felt awful if someone with a wheelchair needed the space, my mother had

no difficulty walking. xB


Hi Harriet You have made me dizzy just reading this how confusing not sure i could cope with the changes there are for different car parks . I expect it from the private ones but i believe it should be free for all blue badge holders whether you park in disabled spaces or not as they are not always empty .my local asda in scotland send a man out to check the badges , good idea i believe .


I have seen cars get wheel-clamped for parking in disabled bays at our Metrocentre. Bit silly of the drivers really as there is no car-parking fee anywhere on the whole site and the disabled bays are just as close to the entrance as the normal bays. I suppose they feel they have as much right. Sad people really. I'd raise the fine to £1000.



John, it wouldn't surprise me if people used these spaces just because they're

wider than the normal ones. It's no excuse though is it? xB


Yes. I've beenn to the Metrocentre when car park areas are empty and seen a driver go into disabled areas and then collect bags from ghe boot of his car and jog to the doors of the Metrocentre.

Just because the bay was closer to the doors...........!

I was livid :-(

I don't know if his car got the clamp - it had no blue badge - I'd gone to get my eye test and order spectacles/lens'

John :-)


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