New scheme for Blue Badge holders

New scheme to allow some Blue Badge holders to park for free in Cornwall Council car parks

29 June 2016

Blue Badge holders, with a registered disabled vehicle that qualifies for free tax, are able to register their vehicle to park for free in Cornwall Council car parks from 1 July.

Anyone who has previously registered with us on our temporary scheme for free parking in Cornwall Council car parks will need to reapply for the new scheme. In the meantime, provided you re-register your vehicle with us by 31 July 2016, you can continue to park for free in Cornwall Council car parks.

With the introduction of the Government’s new legislation, meaning that a tax disc is no longer needed to be displayed in a vehicle, the Council has decided to introduce a new scheme so our parking enforcement officers will be able to see electronically if a vehicle doesn’t need to pay for parking.

The new electronic exemption scheme is being introduced, after public consultation, to ensure the Council can continue to offer entitled Blue Badge holders the benefit of free parking.

The scheme is open to all Blue Badge holders, whether they live in Cornwall or not, who have a registered disabled vehicle which qualifies for free tax. Anyone who is currently registered to park for free will need to reapply. There will be a small charge of £10 per year, to register a vehicle for the scheme.

To qualify for the Council’s free parking scheme a vehicle must be registered as disabled on the vehicles registration document (V5C). You will need to provide the make, model, registration number of your tax exempt vehicle and a copy of the V5C document. It is appreciated that Motability customers may not hold the original V5C document however Motability are happy to provide the necessary information. You can give them a call 0300 456 4566 and for this scheme Motability will, on request, confirm the necessary details and send these electronically direct to the Council’s Parking Services team.
A full single point online application process, including the ability to pay by card and receive renewal reminders, will be introduced in the future. Until this is available we can accept applications in a number of ways including on-line, by email or by post.

More information about the scheme and how to apply is available on the Council’s website: www.cornwall.gov.uk/disabledparkingpermit

Application forms are also available:

· from your local Cornwall Council One-Stop-Shop

· by email to disabledparking@cornwall.gov.uk

· in writing to: Parking Services, PO Box 664, TR1 9DH

When approved, the vehicle details will be automatically loaded onto the Civil Enforcement Officers hand-held devices; As the officers will be able to see if a vehicle is registered and does not require a pay and display ticket, the vehicle will not need a permit to display.

Anyone who parks a registered vehicle in a Cornwall Council car park will still need to display a valid Blue Badge and clock as well as abiding by the other appropriate rules or they may receive a penalty charge notice.

Bert Biscoe, Cabinet Member for Transport, believes it is important to allow those disabled drivers who previously qualified for free parking when they had a tax disc to continue to benefit from this concession. Bert said: “When the Government stopped producing vehicle tax discs it meant our parking enforcement officers were no longer able to see if a vehicle is entitled to free vehicle tax and should therefore be exempt from paying for parking. My Cabinet colleagues and I did not want to remove the concession, so we had to find an alternative way to help disabled drivers park in our car parks for free. It is important, in this time of financial restraint, that the scheme is self-funding which is why we have introduced a small charge.”

Bert went on to explain: “We are grateful to Disability Cornwall for their help in shaping the new scheme. Their advice has ensured the process of applying for and taking part in the scheme, is as simple as possible. Also when they highlighted how some of their members struggle to use the new pay and display ticket machines, we were able to look at helping disabled drivers with severe dextral or Dyslexic impairments as part of the scheme as well.”