Concern over blue badge wait times

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DUP MLA Carla Lockhart has raised both the number of outstanding blue badge applications with the Infrastructure department and also the wait time per application.

In response to an Assembly question by the Upper Bann member, minister Chris Hazzard said there were 7,010 outstanding blue badge applications but these could not be broken down by constituency. The wait time for provision of a badge is 12 weeks.

Speaking on the subject Carla Lockhart said, “The volume of outstanding blue badge applications is not acceptable. The blue badge scheme is in place to help people who may have reduced mobility and as such having one may mean the difference between staying in the house or going out.

I would urge the department to expedite the provision of these badges to all who meet the criteria.

“This will remove unnecessary stress from the applicants and allow them the ease of access the badge provides. I welcome that the department has made allowance for the time delay and traffic wardens have been given guidance that any badges expiring after 1st March 2016 should be allowed continuance of use.”