Blue Badge system to alter

Changes to the Blue Badge scheme for disabled drivers came into effect on January 1.

The new measures aim to make the scheme fairer, tackle fraud and improve customer service.

For the first time, applicants will be able to apply for their Blue Badge online.

The badges have also been redesigned to make them more difficult to tamper with or copy.

Blue Badge application forms are also changing. Applicants will need to give more detailed information allowing Midlothian Council to process forms more quickly.

The new scheme also extends the criteria of people who are automatically eligible for a Blue Badge to include severely injured service personnel and certain war veterans.

Although there will be a new UK-wide database and all new badges will be issued from Banbury, Oxfordshire, Midlothian Council will continue to decide which applicants are eligible for a Blue Badge.

The £20 cost of issuing a new, renewed or replacement Blue Badge will remain unchanged.

For more information about Blue Badges, contact the Midlothian Council travel team on 0131 561 5445. The new website will be at www.bluebadgescotland.org