Transport Committee Press Notice

Session 2007-08

6 February 2008


Press Notice No 16

NEW INQUIRY INTO THE BLUE BADGE (DISABLED PARKING) REFORM STRATEGY

TERMS OF REFERENCE AND CALL FOR EVIDENCE

The House of Commons Transport Committee has today announced that it will conduct a short inquiry into the Blue Badge Scheme in order to inform the Disabled Parking reform Strategy which the Government plans to publish in the late Spring.

The inquiry will mirror the Government’s consultation exercise on the subject and will consider the following questions:

• Should the Assessed Eligibility Criteria be changed and, if so, how?

o   Should the age at which children can qualify for a badge (either because of a specific medical condition or on the basis of the Assessed Eligibility Criteria) be changed?

o   Should people who are severely mentally impaired or who have extremely disruptive behavioural problems be able to qualify for a badge under the assessed eligibility criteria?

• Should the minimum badge issue period be lowered from the current three years?

• Should local authorities have more discretion to vary the yellow-line and on-street parking concessions (e.g. allowing badge holders to park without charge for more time in some areas and less in others depending on local traffic conditions and disabled access)?

• Should the London Concession (the regulations that exempt the four central London boroughs from the national Blue Badge Scheme) be redrawn so that it is aligned with the London Congestion Charge Zone (recognising that the zone may alter in size)?

• Are there any other changes which should be made to the concessions associated with a Blue badge?

• What would be the likely impact of any proposed changes on the number of people holding badges, the availability of disabled parking spaces and on local government administration and costs?

Interested parties are invited to submit written evidence not later than Friday 29th February. The short deadline is to enable the Committee to complete its inquiry before the Government’s consultation exercise comes to an end.

Oral evidence sessions are likely to be held on Wednesday 12th March at 2.45 pm and possibly on Wednesday 2nd April at 2.45 pm. A programme of oral evidence will be announced in due course.

 Guidance on submitting written evidence

It assists the Committee if those submitting written evidence adhere to the following guidelines:

1. Submissions should be as short as is consistent with conveying the relevant information. As a rough guide, it is usually helpful if they can be confined to six pages or less. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference. A single-page summary of the main points is sometimes helpful. The submission should be in a form suitable for monochrome photocopying.

2. Evidence should be submitted in Word or Rich Text format, by e-mail to [email protected] The body of the e-mail should include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. It should be absolutely clear who the submission is from, particularly whether it is on behalf of an organisation or in the name of an individual.

3. Once accepted by the Committee, written evidence becomes the Committee’s property and it may decide to publish it or make other public use of it. You should not publish evidence submitted to the Committee. If you wish your submission, or any part of it, to be treated as confidential, then please indicate this clearly when you submit it.

4. Though the Committee is happy to receive copies of published material, formal submissions of evidence should be original work and not published elsewhere.

5. Committee staff are happy to give further advice on any aspect of the Committee’s work by phone or e-mail.

More detailed guidance on giving evidence to a select committee is available on-line at:

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/witnessguide.pdf