Disabled driving permits may be rejected in Europe due to Brexit hangover

Ministers are still negotiating with 11 nations on the status of UK blue badges.

24 July 2022

Disabled drivers have been warned about using their blue badges in popular European holiday destinations this summer due to an “outrageous” Brexit hangover that means they may not be accepted.

Ministers are still negotiating with 11 nations on the status of UK blue badges, which were recognised across the EU until the country left the union two years ago.

France, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy are among the countries still “undecided” about whether UK blue badges will be recognised, according to the UK Government website.

The others are Iceland, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Romania and Slovenia.

The AA has said disabled drivers may leave themselves open to parking fines if they use their permits in these countries as it criticised the “simply unacceptable” situation.

The Government has told badge-holders to “check with the embassy of the country you are travelling to for the latest developments”.

But the motoring association said consulates had insisted they could not issue advice to disabled drivers 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-issued blue badges need to resolve the matter urgently and provide clarity for all concerned.”

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Negotiations on Blue Badge recognition are ongoing between the UK and individual EU states, and motorists should check our guidance to find out where the Blue Badge is recognised in the EU.”

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