The Blue Badge Scheme – Rights and Responsibilities in SCOTLAND

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The Blue Badge scheme in Scotland

A Blue Badge will help you to park close to your destination, either as a passenger or driver.

As long as you are travelling in the vehicle with your badge, and you get out of the car when it is parked, you can use it to travel in any vehicle.

The scheme only applies to on-street parking. Off-street car parks, including those provided by local authorities, hospitals or supermarkets are governed by separate rules.

Your responsibilities as a Blue Badge holder

You must use the Blue Badge responsibly, following the rules below. When people don’t use the Blue Badge properly, this harms disabled people. It makes it more difficult for others to benefit from the scheme. You must make sure that anyone driving you is also aware of the rules.

Who can use the badge? The badge is issued to you. It is for your use and benefit only. It must only be displayed if you are travelling in the vehicle as a driver or passenger. If you are a passenger, then someone else can use it to drop you off or pick you up. But once assisted to your destination, the badge must be removed from the vehicle. The driver should then park as normal, including moving the vehicle if it’s in a disabled person’s parking space or on yellow lines.

Misuse of a Blue Badge

Misuse of a badge is a crime. Common forms of misuse include:

  • allowing other people to use your badge when you are not with them to do something on your behalf, such as shopping or collecting something for you;
  • allowing others to take benefit from your badge while you sit in the car;
  • displaying a badge so that the details on the front cannot be read;
  • copying or tampering with the badge; and
  • using the badge if it is expired or if you are no longer eligible.

You may be prosecuted if you misuse a badge. The local authority may also require the badge to be returned if they consider it is being misused

How to display the badge

When you are parking and want to use the benefits of your badge, you must display the badge properly. Usually this means placing it on top of the dashboard of the vehicle, where it can be clearly read through the front windscreen. If there is no dashboard in your vehicle, you must still display the badge in a place where it can be clearly seen and read from outside the vehicle. The front of the badge should face upwards. The photo should not be visible through the windscreen. If your badge becomes unreadable through fading or wear and tear, return the badge to your local authority so that they can issue you with a new one.

Power to inspect a badge

Police officers, local authority parking attendants and enforcement officers have the power to inspect Blue Badges. The power is designed to protect legitimate badge holders. These enforcement officers should produce an identity card with their photograph on it to prove they are who they say. If any of these people ask to see the badge, the law says you must show it to them. You can be prosecuted if you fail to allow enforcement officers to inspect your badge.

Reapplying for a badge

You should apply for a new badge from your local authority some weeks before it runs out. You can reapply for a badge online at If you don’t have access to a computer, you can visit a public library to use computers for free. You can also apply using a paper form, which you can get from your local authority. The expired badge should be returned to your local authority. Do not use the badge if it has expired or you may be fined.

If you lose your badge

Lost or stolen badges should be reported to the police immediately. You should then contact your local authority to let them know that your badge is lost or stolen and provide them with the police reference number. Your local authority will arrange for a replacement badge, with the same expiry date as the original badge, to be sent to you. Your local authority can charge you for a replacement badge.

Returning your badge

You must return a badge to your local authority if:

  • the badge has expired;
  • your medical condition or mobility improves and you no longer qualify for the badge;
  • the badge becomes damaged or faded and cannot be read;
  • the badge is no longer needed, for example if the badge holder is confined to the house;
  • when your entitlement ends for a temporary badge.

Please also note that the badge must be returned to the local authority on the death of the badge holder. If you have been issued with a replacement badge, but you later find the original, you must return the original badge to the local authority.

Where can I park?

If you don’t drive yourself, remember you must share this information with anyone who will be carrying you as a passenger. This section explains the rules in Scotland

Places where you cannot park

The Blue Badge does not entitle the holder to park anywhere and conditions differ in different areas and countries, that’s why you should check using our website search function or contact the local council for advice.

You cannot park in the following places:

  • in loading/unloading bays unless nearby signs specify time limits for badge holders
  • where there are one or two yellow markings on the kerb. Nearby signs will show the times when badge holders can or cannot park in these areas; No loading at any time No loading Mon – Fri 8.00 – 9.30 am 4.30 – 6.30 pm Parking prohibited 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for at least 4 consecutive months Parking prohibited during the times shown on nearby signs
  • parking places reserved for specific users such as resident’s bays or taxi ranks. Always check whether badge holders are exempt from these restrictions;
  • pedestrian crossings (including zebra, pelican, toucan and puffin crossings), including areas marked with zigzag lines; clearways (no stopping)
  • a bus stop clearway during hours of operation
  • double or single red lines during their hours of operation
  • an urban clearway within its hours of operation. You may pick up or drop off passengers. All parking is forbidden
  • school ‘keep clear’ markings during the hours shown on a yellow no-stopping plate
  • bus, tram or cycle lanes, cycle tracks. Badge holders are not entitled to drive in bus lanes during their hours of operation
  • where there are double white lines in the centre of the road (even if one of the lines is broken)
  • suspended meter bays or when use of the meter is not allowed
  • where temporary parking restrictions are in force along a length of road, e.g. as indicated by no-waiting cones.

Where you can park

The parking concessions that can be available to badge holders in Scotland include:

  • parking free of charge and without time limit at on-street parking meter spaces
  • parking free of charge and without time limit at on-street pay-and-display spaces
  • parking free of charge at on-street disabled person’s parking spaces
  • parking free of charge on single or double yellow lines, unless there are loading restrictions in place and as long as it is safe to do so. In some places time limits and restrictions might apply.

There are other places where you must not park. These rules are explained below.

The Blue Badge must be displayed at all times to obtain these parking concessions.

Whenever possible, you should park in bays instead of parking on yellow lines.

Safe and responsible parking

Never park where it would endanger, inconvenience or obstruct pedestrians or other road users. Examples of dangerous or obstructive parking include parking:

  • at school entrances, bus stops, on a bend, or near the brow of a hill or hump bridge
  • opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction, except in an authorised parking space
  • where it would make the road narrow, such as by a traffic island or roadworks
  • where it would make it difficult for others to see clearly, e.g. close to a junction
  • where it would hold up traffic, such as in narrow stretches of road or blocking vehicle entrances
  • where emergency vehicles stop or go in and out, such as hospital entrances;
  • where the kerb has been lowered or the road raised to help wheelchair users
  • on a pavement unless signs permit it.

If you park where it would cause an obstruction or danger to other road users you could be fined or have your vehicle removed.

Where the scheme does not apply

The scheme does not apply on private roads and in off-street car parks. However, operators should normally provide spaces for disabled people. Check signs to see what concessions are available, and whether badge holders have to pay. Always display your Blue Badge when occupying one of these spaces. The scheme does not apply in certain town centres, where access is prohibited or is limited to vehicles with special permits issued locally. The scheme does not apply on the road systems at some airports. You should therefore contact the airport concerned in advance to check their car parking arrangements.

Restrictions on how long you can park.

In Scotland there is no blanket time restriction on parking for badge holders, but local restrictions may apply. You can use our website to search the area you are interested in and you will find details of rules relating to Blue Badge parking specifically in that area.

In the rest of the UK you may only park on yellow lines, or in other places where there is a time restriction, for up to three hours. When there is a time limit, you will need to use a parking clock. The clock must be displayed on your dashboard beside your badge. The clock should be set to show the quarter hour period during which you arrived. You must wait for at least an hour after a previous period of parking before you can park the same vehicle in the same road or part of a road on the same day. The clock is sent to you together with the Blue Badge.

Organisational badges

Who can get an organisational badge? Organisations that both care for and transport disabled people who would qualify for a Blue Badge in their own right may apply for an organisational Blue Badge through their local authority. The badge may be used by the organisation when transporting disabled people who would be eligible for a Blue Badge in their own right. The badge is not allowed to be used at other times. The parking concessions available for users of organisational Blue Badges are the same as those for Blue Badges issued to individuals. Please read the rest of this leaflet for information on what parking concessions you are entitled to and how to use the badge.

Special rules that apply to organisations

An organisational badge will have the stamp or logo of the organisation on the reverse of the badge, rather than a photograph. This side should be hidden from view when the badge is on display. Organisational badges may only be used when people who would qualify for a Blue Badge in their own right are being transported. The badge should only be displayed when staff of the organisation, using registered organisational vehicles, are dropping off or picking up eligible disabled people from the place where the vehicle is parked. Organisations should be able to demonstrate it is being held securely and that staff with access to the badge understand the rules of the scheme.

The badge remains the property of the local authority. They can ask for the badge to be returned if it is being misused, or if there is another reason they consider it inappropriate for the organisation to hold it. As with any other badge, it must not be copied or altered. Should an organisation consider it needs more badges, an application can be made to the local authority.

Returning an organisational badge

An organisational badge must be returned to the local authority if:
• the organisation has ceased to exist;
• the organisation no longer cares for people who would qualify for a Blue Badge in their own right.

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