By Guest Writer • 24 May 2022 • 18:42
Disabled parking can be something of a lottery
Credit: Chongkian CC
In Animal Farm George Orwell wrote ‘All animals are created equal but some are more equal than others’ which could actually apply equally to British holders of blue disabled badges.
The European Union boasts about equality and inclusion for the disabled and Spain has even passed a law declaring pets as sentient beings (although hunting and bull fighting will still be allowed).
Following Brexit however it appears that some Spanish authorities have decided that UK holders of disabled blue badges are no longer equal to disabled people from the European Union as there are reports of people being fined for using their UK blue badges to park in disabled spaces.
According to the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the member states of the International Transport Forum (ITF): EU and EEA, along with USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Korea, have agreed in principle to reciprocity for each other’s disabled citizens:
“To provide people with reduced mobility with a document (Parking Card / Permit) _ _ _ and to give the same parking facilities to holders of this document coming from another member or associated member country as they do to their own nationals.”
So, in theory, a protocol exists that should allow any non-EU passport holder with a blue badge issued by their country to park in a disabled space in Spain but the UK Government says on its section concerning Blue Badges that Spain, amongst other countries is undecided with regards to usage and the matter continues to be negotiated.
Many councils around Spain appear quite happy to let British badge holders park in their disabled spaces but there is an element of trial and error so be careful and hope for the best.
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The UK has shown a lack of interest in negotiating reciprocal arrangements for anything. In one of the few areas which they have done- the health card- they have plastered a big Union flag over it and called it the UK International.Health Insurance card when in fact it only covers the EU and would not be possible without the EU. If Britain wants privileges for its disabled drivers then it need to negotiate a deal on it and get the EU flag back on its blue badges. A simpler solution would of course be to rejoin the EU. My sympathies to British Blue Badge holders who voted Remain.
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