Blue Badge Delays – Information From The DRD
A new measure has been put in place for Blue Badge holders experiencing delays in renewing their badges.
A spokesperson for the Department for Regional Development said: “The Department has a target to inform 95% of applicants for Blue Badges of our decision within 15 working days of receiving valid applications. Given that in excess of 35,000 applications are received each year, this is a challenging target.
“The Blue Badge Unit is currently working around six to seven days behind the 15 day target due to a number of short-term resourcing issues that are being addressed urgently. Two additional posts in the unit were created earlier in the year following a review of workloads.
“Pending the recruitment of permanent staff, casual staff have been employed and weekend overtime has been arranged to address the backlog. Until the unit is up to full complement, it is expected that delays may persist during September. We are working to fill all vacancies as soon as possible.”
In addition to tackling the resource problem, the grace period for expired Blue Badges has been extended to one month, in line with car tax expiry dates. This is a permanent arrangement.
The spokesperson aded: “Traffic attendants have been instructed that Penalty Charge Notices can only be issued if a Blue Badge has expired by more than one calendar month – for example, if an expiry date states 11 September 2013 then a Penalty Charge Notice can only be issued from 11 October 2013 onwards.”