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The mobility parking permit scheme

BJ Clark QSM is the National Coordinator – Moving Around Communities at CCS Disability Action. Here he talks about our Mobility Parking permits and why some people abuse disability parking spaces.

The Mobility Parking Permit scheme is another arrow in the quiver to assist those with mobility impairments to access the community – a process many of us take for granted.

It allows mobility parking permit holders to park in designated mobility parking spaces. These are wider than standard parking spaces, making it easier to get in and out of a vehicle with a wheelchair or mobility aid, and they are located closer to services and facilities.

This is both a positive and a negative as, being close to the facility entrance, it is great for the driver who requires the park, but it is also a temptation for those who don’t care about others, or are just plain lazy, to abuse the park.

Some permit holders have what we call hidden disabilities, for example, shortness of breath or a weak heart, and unfortunately some of these people have been subjected to queries and abuse because people do not see an obvious reason for them having a permit.

The scheme is divided into two parts: on-road and off-road, or private, parking.

  • On-road parking includes the public parking spaces provided on the side of the road and monitored by the local Territorial Parking Enforcement Officers.
  • Off-road, or private parking, for example at malls and supermarkets, is monitored by the property owners. This can be frustrating, as few owners of private parking areas are prepared to monitor their accessible parks, which makes them subject to continual abuse.

The Government has been asked on a number of occasions to put both private and public spaces under the same rule but, for whatever reason, they have been reluctant to move.

There are concessions in Council managed parking spaces, where permit holders can park for longer than the stated time, which recognises that it may sometimes take longer to return to their vehicle. Contact your Council to find out what concessions apply in your area.

It is important to remember that these concessions do not apply in off-road, or privately managed car parks or allow permit holders to park illegally or park for free where charges are indicated.

There are three types of permits, short term, long term and an Organisation permit, and eligibility depends on some specific criteria:

Short Term Permit

A short-term permit can be applied for where a temporary medical condition affects mobility. These are issued for a minimum of three months and maximum of 12 months.

Long term Permit

A long-term permit can be applied for where a permanent medical condition or disability affects mobility. A long-term permit is valid for five years.

CCS Disability Action will send a reminder when the permit is due to expire. So it is important that permit holders notify us of any change of address, as it is the permit holder’s responsibility to ensure the permit is renewed and up to date. To renew a long-term permit does not require new medical information to be provided.

Organisation Permit

This permit is issued to support organisations, for example rest-homes, and is renewed annually.

CCS Disability Action is continually monitoring the Mobility Parking Permit system to ensure that permit holders are supported in accessing these parking spaces.

CCS Disability Action is about to undertake a survey on Mobility Parking abuse and it is hoped that the data may provide evidence to the Government that there needs to be a change in the law to ensure that those who abuse these parks, no matter where they are located, are fined.

For further details please visit the CCS Disability Action website – or Mobility Parking website –

2 Responses to “The mobility parking permit scheme”

  1. Christina Silkstone says:

    Hi there, I have found that mums and baby’s often get more parks in a car park than disabled people do. Also I have been on the end of a stare until my daughter or husband get out the wheelchair as I have chronic pain it’s not a obvious problem but is extremely hard for me to walk around the mall, down the street etc. I think what people need to remember is that even though it may not show sometimes people do have not visible disabilities.

    • Dear Christina

      Yes you are correct in regard to “hidden disabilities”
      as I pointed out in Para 4 above.

      And I also agree with your point regarding mum’s and
      babies parks which does not make sense as they can
      travel distances.

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