HL Deb 07 October 2002 vol 639 cc1-2WA
Lord Campbell of Croy

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will facilitate the rationalisation of the present sets of regulations for disabled drivers' parking in the five local government areas of central London. [HL5817]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston

A national scheme of parking concessions for disabled motorists—known as the Blue Badge scheme—has been in operation since 1971. It was introduced under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 and includes all but four central London boroughs (Westminster. Kensington & Chelsea, part of Camden and the City of London) based on the severe problems with traffic congestion and pressure on parking space in these parts of London.

These authorities have introduced their own independent local parking schemes for disabled people who live and work in these areas by means of a traffic regulation order under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. These are exclusive to individual boroughs and there is no requirement for them to be compatible with other schemes. However, the Department for Transport continues to hold regular meetings with the four central London boroughs to encourage them to be as flexible as possible with these schemes and also to provide concessions for Blue Badge holders. In this respect we have succeeded in securing increased parking provision for Blue Badge holders.

The issue of removal of the exemption for the four central London boroughs from the Blue Badge scheme to make it a truly national scheme is being considered under a current comprehensive review of the scheme. The Secretary of State intends to make an announcement on the future shape of the scheme in autumn 2002.

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