Strangford Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong Reveals Further Blue Badge Delay

Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has revealed several people with disabilities have been waiting for over 13 weeks for blue badges for vehicles.

dn_screenThe Strangford MLA Ms Armstrong made the discovery after a number of constituents contacted her to complain their blue badge payments had been cashed by Transport NI prior to the summer but their disabled badges had yet to arrive.

The Alliance representative subsequently wrote to the Department for Infrastructure to enquire about the situation but has yet to receive a reply.

She said: “During previous enquiries, I was informed by the Department the delay was due to staff shortages caused by illness and holidays. While illness cannot be avoided, it appears the Department and Transport NI had no strategic plan for the summer months.

“One constituent in particular informed me she had applied for a blue badge over 13 weeks ago and is still waiting for it. There is supposed to be an understanding between the Department for Infrastructure and Department of Health that allows those entitled to blue badges to park in hospital car parks but that has not been communicated to many hospitals, leaving many susceptible to fines.

“The Infrastructure Minister needs to make changes to ensure those in need of blue badges are issued with them immediately. If the Department can cash payments from people, the blue badge can be processed just as quickly.”