Changes to Blue Badge Holder’s parking following consultation

New charges in some car parks for Blue Badge holders from Monday 9 November

Blue Badge parking changes

Some of the city’s busiest car parks will have new parking charges for Blue Badge holders from Monday 9 November where ‘if you pay for an hour, you get an hour free’. 

While charges already apply to Blue Badge Holders in the city’s four barrier-controlled multi-storey car parks, the introduction of these charges in more of our car parks will help make more spaces available for all drivers by encouraging the turnover of spaces used in these car parks.

The changes are being introduced following a public consultation held last year where views were sought from a wide range of interested parties, including Spectrum, our local advocacy organisation for people with disabilities. Following feedback from the consultation Blue Badge Holders who display their Blue Badges alongside their Pay and Display tickets will get an additional free hour for each paid for hour (up to a maximum of 5 free hours). For example, a two-hour ticket that runs out at 12:30, would expire at 14:30. 

This will apply 08:00 to 18:00 on Mondays to Saturdays and 12:00 to 18:00 on Sundays. 

The changes will bring Southampton City Council in line with neighbouring councils and will be trialled at some of the city’s busiest car parks:

  • Albion Place - SO14 2DD
  • Castle Way - SO14 2BN
  • Harbour Parade - SO15 1BA
  • Southbrook Road South - SO15 1GP
  • Southbrook Road North - SO15 1GQ
  • Wyndham Place - SO15 1GD
  • Commercial Road – SO15 1GD
  • Grosvenor Square North - SO15 2DA
  • Kings Park Road - SO15 2AY

The decision to introduce these changes also comes after an announcement from the Government that it would be making Blue Badges available to people with a wider range of disabilities. The new Blue Badge policy guidance was issued in August 2019. The new guidance provides for an increased number of residents to obtain a Blue Badge, which could lead to reducing opportunities for all drivers to find available parking spaces, including other Blue Badge holders. 

Councillor Steve Leggett, Cabinet Member for Green City & Place, said: “After consultation with residents and consideration of the valued feedback put forward by Spectrum, the new parking scheme will help to ensure there are enough parking spaces so that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy what our city has to offer, with higher turnover in our car parks increasing the number of visitors and customers able to come to the City Centre.”

Blue Badge Holders are still able to park in on-street pay and display bays for any length of time. This also applies to some on-street Disabled Parking Bays. The Civil Enforcement Officers will account for this when making their patrols.

The following changes have also been implemented as part of the new introduction of charges: 

  • In each of the above sites, Pay and Display machines have been re-located (as required) to a ground level section of the car park and lowered in height to meet the standards laid out by the Disabled Access Car Park guidance. While this is non-statutory guidance, the Council accepted that these were key requirements that needed to be met
  • The Council has worked in partnership with Pay By Phone to introduce cashless payments, which can be made via telephone or the Pay By Phone app. This provides an alternative means for Blue Badge Holders (and other users) to make payment at these sites

A decision on introducing this measure within the Council’s other off-street car parks is deferred at this time.