People with disabilities waiting for months due to blue badge backlog

SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly.
SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly.

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.”