Department unveils end-to-end digital service for applying for disability parking permits
The Department for Transport has launched an online service allowing citizens to apply for a Blue Badge.
The badges are available for people with disabilities or health conditions affecting their mobility or vision. They can be used to park for free in disabled bays, on yellow lines, or in streets with parking meters or pay-and-display machines.
For the first time, applicants can now complete the process entirely online, including uploading proof of identity and photographs. Previously, citizens would have been required to post documents such as these.
For citizens with automatic eligibility for a badge, the online application will take about 13 minutes, according to the government. Even for those who need to provide additional information in support of their application, the process is forecast to take no more than half an hour.
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A survey conducted by the DfT last summer found that applicants waited an average of 17 days after completing their application to receive their badge. This figure rose to 28 days for those who needed to go through a medical assessment.
Transport minister Jesse Norman said: “Blue badges are a lifeline for many disabled people, and it’s important to make the application process as quick and easy as possible. Speeding up the process will allow people to access the tools they need to travel independently, and with confidence.”
‘Get a blue badge’ is the latest example of an end-to-end digital government service. Creating more end-to-end services – which take as their starting point a user’s ultimate goal, such as learning to drive a car, or starting a business – is a major goal for the government over the coming months.
End-to-end services, which often collate in one place content and online services from multiple departments and agencies, are intended to focus on overall user journeys, rather than simply discrete transactions.
Across government, there are as many as 400 services that could be redesigned as step-by-step journeys, the Government Digital Service said at last year’s Sprint 18 event.