The AA are warning people planning to use their Blue Badge abroad this summer, that they could leave themselves open to parking fines as it may not be accepted overseas.
Popular holiday destinations of France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece are among 11 European nations yet to decide if a UK issued Blue Badge is to be recognised*. Other nations where a UK Blue Badge may not be accepted are; Bulgaria, Iceland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Romania and Slovenia.
Disabled people heading to the continent over the summer holidays need to check if their Blue Badge will be valid. However, research by the AA’s European Breakdown Department** suggests that it will not be accepted at all in 11 nations where there is no reciprocal arrangement.
That means Blue Badge users leave themselves open to parking tickets, or their car being towed away if they used them in a disabled parking space. Following the advice of the government to contact the Consulates in question, many could not advise what action Blue Badge users should take when parking until an agreement was reached.
Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said; “To keep Blue Badge users in limbo is simply unacceptable. Blue Badges are issued because of specific health reasons and to not have their status confirmed two years down the line is simply outrageous.
“Rather than take a chance, we would encourage Blue Badge users to use drop-off and collection zones where possible while the car is parked in a non-disabled bay. While problematic, it reduces the risk of a vehicle being given a ticket or towed away. While the government website asks Blue Badge users to ask the Consulates for further advice on if their Blue Badge would be accepted, most could not provide any assurances or advice to the AA.
“Both the UK Government and the 11 European nations yet to ratify the status of UK issues Blue Badges need to resolve the matter urgently and provide clarity for all concerned.”
*Article source www.aa.com