This letter was received by the Wilts and Glos Standard

AS A retired barrister I am able to answer the question of law posed by Andy Kelly in your letters pages on March 7.

He asked "Do Blue Badge holders have the right to drive along upper Cricklade Street during the Cars/Motorcyles prohibited hours of 0930-1630 Mon-Sat?" The answer is "No".

The Blue Badge scheme is a national scheme designed to give people who have any permanent and substantial disability the ability to park close to the facilities and services they need to use, so as to improve their lifestyle, independence and freedom of choice.

The scheme relates to on-street parking and nothing else.

Some Blue Badge drivers seem to assume, quite wrongly, that a Blue Badge gives immunity from a variety of motoring offences.

A Blue Badge driver who, for example, drives through a red traffic light, ignores a stop sign or drives in a pedestrian only zone is liable to be penalised.

Further, many Blue Badge drivers appear to think that they can park anywhere, any time, willy-nilly.

In fact the scheme merely gives them specific and limited privileges and exemptions, such as the right to park on a single or double yellow line for up to three hours.

A Blue Badge driver who, for example, parks on a pedestrian crossing, or in a bay reserved for resident permit holders only or in a restricted zone (such as the major part of Cirencester Market Place) is liable to receive a penalty charge notice.

Andy Kelly's subsidiary question was " Does the badge give motorists carte blanche to behave in this manner" (i.e. drive in a pedestrian only zone and shoo pedestrians out of the way).

Again the answer is "No". A Blue badge is a "carte bleu", not a "carte blanche".

John Hodgson