Permit to park freely extended to those with ‘hidden conditions’, including autism

The “blue badge” scheme, which allows people with disabilities to park close to their destinations – including on yellow lines – is to be extended to those with hidden conditions, such as mental health difficulties, in the biggest change to the system in 40 years.

The new rules, which could benefit millions of people, will come into effect early next year, in what ministers say is part of a move to give equal treatment to those with physical and mental health issues.

Related: My daughter is not deemed 'disabled enough' to get free parking | Nicky Clark

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".

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