People with disabilities waiting for months due to blue badge backlog

SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly.
SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly.
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Local people with disabilities are having to wait for months to get their blue parking badges, a councillor has warned.

SDLP councillor Martin Reilly has written to Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard on behalf of one local woman who has been waiting for over 14 weeks for a renewal of her badge.

Colr. Reilly called on the Minister to ramp up efforts within his department to clear the backlog of application forms. He said: “I can understand the frustration of people who are waiting such a long time for their blue badge to be renewed. I welcome the commitment of the Minister to get back to a normal service of renewals as soon as possible.

“It is also worth highlighting that traffic attendants are aware of this backlog and blue badge holders who have submitted a reapplication form after 1 April 2016 will not be penalised for using an expired blue badge. However, many people – including the lady who contacted me – returned their expired blue badge for cancellation as part of the renewal process and have no method of demonstrating that they have a disability.”