Council websites failing to support Blue Badge process

New Socitm Better Connected report shows poor performance in enabling disabled people to apply for specialised parking permits

Less than half of the district councils in England and Northern Ireland are making it easy to apply for a disabled person’s Blue Badge for preferential parking, according public sector IT association Socitm.

Blue Badge signIts latest Better Connected report says that 23% of 210 council websites surveyed provide an application form and 15% a form that is responsive and interactive, and therefore fully accessible to people with disabilities.

It rates only 31% as providing a good or very good service.

Among the common failings are the absence of application forms, instructions to write to council offices, and presenting viewers with a list of car parks named for local streets or landmarks, with a map associated for each one. This provides a poor starting point for drivers, especially those who are visitors to an area.

Good performers

The councils winning approval for providing a good service include Basildon, Bromsgrove, Cambridge, Carlisle, Charnwood, Scarborough, Uttlesford, Warwick and Waverley. They have made good use of easy-to-map tools to show the location of car parks and links to information about opening hours, charges and whether there are pay-by-phone facilities.

While the issuing of Blue Badges is not a district council function, the report says it seems odd that council websites refer to them being required for users of some parking bays without providing links to further information.

Councils do manage applications for Blue Badges for on-street disabled parking bays outside disabled people’s homes, but many fail to provide sufficient information, says the report.