Disabled drivers to face price rise for badges

DISABLED drivers will have to pay a five-fold price increase to renew their blue badge next year.

The Department of Transport has announced that it will change the current Blue Badge scheme in January and bring in a new pass that is harder to forge.

The new maximum charge, payable every three years, is to increase from £2 to £10 – but the department will let councils choose how much people should pay.

In a report due to be debated at Northamptonshire Council Council’s cabinet meeting next week, officials propose to charge the maximum for disabled drivers in the county.

Council officers say they have proposed charging the maximum amount because £10 will not fully cover the costs of producing the new badges.

All badges issued from January 1 onwards will be electronically printed on durable PVC which is harder to copy, alter or forge than the cardboard version.

About 750 people in Northamptonshire are due to renew their badges in January.

The county council estimates each new badge will cost £15.35 to make.

In the report, a council spokesman said: “We have considered making a different charge but as the cost of the scheme per badge already exceeds the £10 minimum charge we will continue to provide some subsidy to the people of Northamptonshire who are eligible for a blue badge. It is considered prudent to charge the maximum allowance therefore, in order to recoup some of the costs of the scheme.”

The report will be debated at the cabinet meeting which will take place on Tuesday, January 10.