As part of the implementation of recommendations contained within the Sustainable, Traffic, Transport and Parking Plan, Government have announced legislative changes to incorporate a number of initiatives to enhance the Gibraltar Blue Badge Scheme.

As part of the review, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning have worked with the appointed Transport Planner, Technical Services Department, The Ministry for Equality and IT&LD to deliver a Pilot Scheme that aims to improve how parking opportunities are afforded to holders of Blue Badges. This follows recommendations arising as a result of common abuse and inconsiderate use of Disabled Parking Bays, otherwise referred to as accessible bays or blue bays, to the detriment of other users.

In the delivery of the Pilot Scheme, an application has been developed by IT&LD that is managed by the Transport Planner and GLIS Coordinator in order to ensure an even distribution of Disabled Parking Bays throughout Gibraltar. The application takes into account the topography and distance from Disabled Parking Bays to populated areas where they are often most needed.

The Pilot Scheme will also see the introduction of new additional time restricted Disabled Parking Bays throughout Gibraltar that aim to provide turnaround of blue bays, so these specific spaces are shared and not predominantly taken up by one user for long periods of time. These time restricted accessible parking bays will feature signage showing the maximum ‘3 Hour’ stay, where Blue Badge holders will be required to display a new feature which is a blue parking clock in addition to the Blue Badge.

Works to demarcate and implement these time restricted accessible parking bays will be rolled out throughout coming weeks.

The review of the Gibraltar Blue Badge Scheme also sees the introduction of a revised information booklet; namely The Gibraltar Blue Badge Scheme - Rights & Responsibilities. The new booklet aims to help provide holders of Disabled Badges with a greater level of understanding on the workings of the scheme. The new booklet will be issued by the DVLD to Blue Badge holders on collection of their badge and provides information on the rules governing acceptable and responsible use of the parking card. The booklet is free of charge and shall also be available in coming weeks for download on the HM GoG Website.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Department as Issuing Authority shall be writing to all Gibraltar Blue Badge Holders, enclosing a blue parking clock and Gibraltar Blue Badge Scheme – Rights & Responsibilities Booklet.

Members of the public and users of the scheme are reminded that Disabled Parking Bays throughout Gibraltar are not assigned for the sole use of any individual Blue Badge holder. Sensible and responsible use of the Blue Bays available throughout Gibraltar is important and for the scheme to work effectively and benefit all users. As announced on the 23rd November, HM GoG reminds drivers that any person who parks a motor vehicle without holding or clearly displaying a Blue Badge will be liable to a fine of £500 and liable on conviction to a level 3 fine (up to a £1,000).

Digital copies of the information booklet and application forms will be available for download shortly on the HMGoG website on:

https://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/new/

The Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, The Hon Paul Balban MP said:

I am pleased to see the announcement and implementation of yet another recommendation contained in the Sustainable Traffic, Transport and Parking Plan. This Pilot Scheme takes on board all the feedback received throughout the consultation period of the STTPP and addresses the needs of different users and beneficiaries of the scheme in an attempt to assist in their daily lives. It also aims to curtail abuse and inconsiderate use of Disabled Parking Bays and the concessions afforded by the scheme to the detriment of other users

The Minister for Equality, The Hon Samantha Sacramento MP said:

As a Government we are continually reviewing services to see how they can be improved. We regularly consult with our stakeholders on issues that are important to them and I am grateful to the Disability Society for their advice during our discussions on this topic.

I am very pleased to see this new policy development and particularly to see a Government department so proactively embracing the principle of inclusion and fairness of people with disabilities and working closely with the Ministry of Equality for guidance and advice on the matter. This new system will provide for more parking for people with disabilities thereby facilitating them and will also curtail abuse. This initiative together with last week’s announcement of the increase of fines for illegal use of blue bays is emblematic of the importance that our government gives to the issue of disability across the board and how different Government departments are working together to achieve this. I am very grateful to my colleague Minister Balban and for the work of all the officials who have brought this project to fruition."

The Chairperson of the Disability Society, Ms Debbie Borastero said:

The Disability Society welcomes the introduction of the new parking clock system for use in some blue badge bays on a trial basis which will be overseen by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning and the Ministry for Equality. Additional accessible parking bays are always welcome and it is hoped that those and the conversion of certain existing bays, in areas that contain additional bays, to a parking clock system will be seen in a positive light. The use of a parking clock system will hopefully ensure that bays can be more available for those who wish to use them for short term parking for appointments, shopping, family visits etc. The clock system, which is already used in other countries, is new to Gibraltar therefore any feedback should be made to the appropriate Government Ministries.