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People with a Blue Badge can also apply for little-known free travel boost

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More than 235,700 Blue Badge holders in Scotland may not be aware of a little-known travel boost the permit can unlock. People with a disability living in Scotland may be entitled to free bus travel with the National Entitlement Card.

While eligibility criteria is usually associated with the level of award for a disability benefit such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Adult Disability Payment (ADP), Child Disability Payment (CDP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Attendance Allowance, people with a Blue Badge may also qualify.




Guidance on the Transport Scotland website states you just need your Blue Badge, or your latest V11 vehicle licensing reminder from DVLA or DLA404 from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), when you apply for the National Entitlement Card. It also advises: “A valid Blue Badge issued outside Scotland, in the rest of the UK or by the authorities of another EU member state will be acceptable.”

Full details on eligibility and how to apply for the National Entitlement Card can be found here.

If you do not have a Blue Badge, full guidance on eligibility can be found on MyGov.Scot here.

Disabled people eligibility

If you’re a resident in Scotland and meet one of the following criteria, you are entitled to free bus travel with the National Entitlement Card:

  • You receive a qualifying DWP benefit – Attendance Allowance, PIP, War Pension Constant Attendance Allowance, or the higher rate of the mobility component or the higher or middle rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance.
  • You receive a qualifying Social Security Scotland benefit – Pension Age Disability payment, Adult Disability Payment, or receive the higher rate of the mobility component or the higher or middle rate of the care component of Child Disability Payment.

Blue Badge eligibility

If you have a physical disability or health condition that affects your walking ability, or have a hidden illness such as dementia, autism or Parkinson’s, you may be able to get a Blue Badge to help you park closer to the places you want to go.

A Blue Badge holder travelling either as a driver or a passenger can park for free in disabled parking bays and you may be exempt from other parking restrictions.

Who can get a Blue Badge?

In some cases, you may automatically qualify for a Blue Badge and in others, your local council will assess your eligibility. This may include going to a mobility assessment and meeting a healthcare professional.

You will automatically qualify for a Blue Badge in Scotland if you:

  • are under 16 and have a letter confirming your eligibility from your visual impairment care team
  • are 16 or over and registered or certified as severely sight impaired
  • get the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • get Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and scored 8 points or more in the ‘moving around’ area of your assessment
  • get PIP and scored 12 points in the ‘planning and following a journey’ area of your assessment
  • get PIP and used to get the higher rate of the mobility component of DLA on an indefinite or lifetime basis
  • get PIP, used to get the higher rate of the mobility component of DLA, and your PIP decision is being appealed
  • get Adult Disability Payment (ADP) and have been awarded either 8 points or more in the Moving Around activity or 12 points in the Planning and Following a Journey activity or enhanced rate mobility without reference to points
  • get the higher rate of the mobility component of Child Disability Payment
  • get War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
  • got a lump sum payment from tariffs 1 to 8 of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and have been certified as having a permanent and substantial disability

Who else could qualify for a Blue Badge?

If you are not automatically eligible, you may be able to get a Blue Badge in certain circumstances.

For example, if you:

  • have a substantial disability lasting at least 12 months that means you cannot walk at all

  • have a substantial disability lasting at least 12 months that means you’re virtually unable to walk

  • regularly drive and cannot use parking meters because of a severe disability in both arms

  • are responsible for a child under 3-years-old who needs to be kept close to a vehicle for medical treatment

  • are responsible for a child under 3-years-old who uses bulky medical equipment that cannot be carried around

  • have a mental health condition that means you lack awareness about the danger of traffic when making journeys

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