The Blue Badge has been a really good thing. When you fill in the form, make sure you tell it how it is. The getting in and out of the car in narrow spaces. The distance walking without getting out of breath. How tiring it is…
It doesn’t mean you always get free parking though. Sometimes there is a reduction, or sometimes you pay the full price, but there is a space which is friendlier to people like John. The condition is not always visible to others, so don’t be intimidated when people around you suspect you are working the system! They are just jealous!
Hospital/GP appointment transport was something we tried. This will be arranged by your GP. After you have requested it, and the first time you use it, you will be contacted by a member of the team. They will ask you general questions about the appointment. These include where and when the appointment is. There is no charge for this service. It is not means-tested, (ie, it doesn’t matter if you have savings). There are choices of a car, mini-bus or an ambulance, according to your needs.
You generally have to share, meaning that they have to pick up and drop off other people. On the upside, if you are late to your appointment because of traffic, it is not your fault and the hospital will fit you into another slot.
It does mean that your hospital appointment journey can be a longer process than going in your own car. But it really takes the stress out of finding a car parking space or the correct place in the building.
For more information, and to apply for a blue badge go to: https://www.gov.uk/blue-badge-scheme-information-council
[This article was written prior to the coronavirus outbreak.]
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