§ Lord Gainford
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they are yet in a position to bring forward proposals for revising the Orange Badge scheme.
§ Lord Brabazon of Tara
My honourable friend the Minister for Roads and Traffic has explained in reply to previous questions in another place that his aim has been to reach a better consensus among user groups before proceeding with any changes to the scheme. Following a recent meeting with representative organisations, that position has now been reached.
My honourable friend therefore proposes to proceed with a package of measures, based largely on the department's proposals circulated for comment last year. The main changes will be to introduce the new passport-style badge which, together with the new offence provision in the Road Traffic Bill, will be a major step in tackling abuse; automatic entitlement will be extended to those in receipt of mobility allowance and war pensioners' mobility supplement; eligibility will be extended to people with very severe upper limb disabilities who regularly drive a vehicle; and there will be an increase from two hours to three hours in the limit on yellow line waiting.
There will be no change to the discretionary eligibility criterion as was originally proposed, but my honourable friend will be writing to the local authorities, who operate the scheme, to request that they give greater emphasis to ensure that badges are issued only to those who are entitled to receive them. My honourable friend intends to bring forward amending regulations as soon as possible in the Autumn.