How non-disabled drivers can make roads more accessible for blue badge holders

11 Posted: 11th Mar 2024
How non-disabled drivers can make roads more accessible for blue badge holders

There are approximately 2.57 million blue badge holders in the UK. Blue badges provide essential parking concessions for people with disabilities to allow easier access to goods, services, and facilities.

Ahead of Disabled Access Day, we’ve highlighted 4 ways non-disabled drivers can be more mindful on the road, to ensure proper access for those with blue badges.

Disabled Access Day encourages those with disabilities to try something new. So, it’s crucial that non-disabled road users are aware of the choices they make which could have a negative impact on others.

Our tips include simple actions such as refraining from parking in disabled parking spots without a blue badge, and why it’s important to leave sufficient space between parking spots, amongst others. Check them out below. 


  • 4 ways to support accessibility on the road


    1. Remember that disabled parking bays are reserved for blue badge holders

    Although it might seem like a simple rule of the road to some, non-disabled drivers parking in disabled parking bays remains a big problem in the UK.

    Not only are you taking away these important spaces for people who need them, such as blue badge holders and those with motability vehicles, but you could also encourage other drivers in the area to do this as well.

    At Group 1 Automotive, we are proud supporters of the Motability scheme. If you would like more information on motability scheme cars, check out our page here.

    But is it illegal to park in a disabled bay? If you don’t have a blue badge, parking in a disabled bay is actually a criminal offence, and by doing this, you could land a fine of up to £70.


    2. Leave space between parked cars and streets

    Some drivers can often overlook how important it is to leave enough space between their car, the pavement and any walkways - especially in busy car parks or streets.

    Getting around for wheelchair users, getting around can already be difficult, and non-disabled drivers can make this so much tougher by not leaving enough space.

    When parking your car, park as closely to the curb as possible, But ensure you’re not mounting the curb to leave enough room for any wheelchair users, or other disabled persons to get past.


    3. Be aware of accessible entryways

    A study from Disability Rights UK found that 84% of disabled people in England feel there are severe issues with street accessibility in their local area - further highlighting the importance of not blocking accessible areas or venues.

    There are always going to be times where finding an empty parking spot seems impossible, and some drivers can often find themselves tempted to park somewhere they maybe shouldn't.

    Disabled access ramps are there to allow any wheelchair user direct access to an area. If you block this with your car, you can stop someone from gaining access to a facility.


    4. Don’t park on, or next to lowered curbs

    Lowered curbs are there to help wheelchair users and those with prams, and parking on these is against the Highway Code.

    The code itself advises drivers to: “not stop or park where the kerb has been lowered to help wheelchair users and powered mobility vehicles”.

    If you are found blocking these lowered areas, you could receive a penalty charge notice (PCN) of up to £90.


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