Blue badges: forms are hammer to crack a nut

disabled parking bay
disabled parking bay

Having recently assisted my elderly neighbour to renew her blue badge (for parking) from Lancashire County Council, we both assumed it would be a fairly straight forward affair as most of the applicant’s details were unchanged.

How wrong we were!

I can only assume the designer’s remit was to make applying as painful and protracted as humanly possible, presumably in the hope would-be applicants will give up or die from frustration/old age before any success could be attained.

There is page after page of detail to be waded through – so much so I was of the mind that a very large loan must have somehow become part of the negotiations we were undertaking.

Despite requiring a driving licence number to be quoted and a vehicle registration to be provided, applicants are still required to send a copy of the said licence to Preston – no doubt for some intense forensic testing.

Then we have to provide a detailed list of illnesses, medicine (plus dose and frequency of same), specialist seen, GP, how far can be walked before collapsing, time taken to achieve this feat.

The ability to allow LCC to visit council data and verify identity was a boon, though unfortunately short lived as the confirmation email stated in capital letters that LCC had no facility to undertake this type of action and a copy of some bill or other would have to be emailed for yet further verification of the applicant’s existence.

Finally we come to the apparent God-send of being able to save your partially completed application, while you search the attic for some spurious and twaddlesome proof of who you were, only to be then given a 14-digit tracking number which upon any revisit to said system had no matching field in which to be entered, thus making itself redundant and providing the unwanted necessity of having to start the whole weary thing from scratch once again.

I would say some body of people – obviously with too much time on their hands – has misspent our money to some tune creating this particular hammer for the miniscule nut involved in any likely savings.

I sincerely hope they find themselves in need of blue badges themselves and quite soon.

Colin Eastwood

Halifax Road, Briercliffe