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Social care

Apply for a blue badge - 2015

Why important

Applying for a blue badge for disabled parking is ideal for self-service, because the rules for granting it to disabled people are clear and specific and by definition the visitor is not mobile enough to visit in person.

Overview

Most councils handle this task well. With 60% achieving our standard, this task was the third best performing task out of the 15 that we tested.

Coverage

All county councils and unitaries in England, Scotland and Wales (137 councils in all).

Primary route for this task

We assessed this task primarily using the council’s search facility.

Headline results

61%

Achieved standard

The standard
  • At least 7 questions from 11 answered 'Yes'
  • Question Q100 must be answered 'Yes'
  • Question Q107 must be 'No' (content must not be out of date)
  • Promotion of task rated satisfactory or very good
  • Customer journey rated satisfactory or very good

How effectively is this council promoting this as a task?

Overall, how do you rate the journey plus task completion?

Key
  • Very good
  • Satisfactory
  • Poor
  • No information

Questions

NB Question highlighted in green is an ‘essential question’ that must be answered correctly for the council to meet the standard for this task

Percentage answered correctly
Questions to be answered 'Yes'
Q96 Does a site search return the correct result listed in the first five results? 96%
Q97 Does the home page lead me directly to the task? 73%
Q98 Does the site clearly explain where a blue badge holder is entitled to park? 44%
Q99 Can I find out what the eligibility criteria are? 85%
Q100 Can I find out how to apply for a blue badge? 97%
Q101 Can I find out what proofs or documents I need to submit with the application? 66%
Q102 Does the site tell me how long I will have to wait to receive my blue badge? 37%
Q103 Is there a phone number readily available if I need help with my application? 74%
Q104 Does a Google search lead me to the task? 97%
Q105 Is there a prominent link that goes directly to this task on both the Social Care and Parking (or T 30%
Q106 Is there an entry in the A to Z index? 79%
Out of date information, answered 'No'
Q107 Did you come across any out-of-date information about this task? 89%
How effectively is this council promoting this as a task? Average score (0-3)
Q108 How effectively is this council promoting this as a task? 2.1
Overall, how do you rate the journey plus task completion? Average score (0-3)
Q109 Overall, how do you rate the journey plus task completion? 2

Task report

Good practice

Finding the task

  • Ensure that there is a clear link from the home page to the social care and/or parking (or transport) pages.
  • Find the task by entering ‘council name’ blue badges into Google (or other search engine).
  • Provide a direct link for blue badges from the social care landing page and/or the parking (or transport) landing page.
  • Ensure that internal searches for ‘blue badges’ and ‘disabled parking’ are at the top of the search results, are well explained and point to the correct page.
  • Provide an entry in the A to Z for ‘Blue badges’ and ‘Disabled parking’, that leads directly to the main page for blue badges.
  • Take visitors to the same page from any site search result or A to Z entry.
  • In two-tier areas, signpost the task from the appropriate district council sites.

Completing the task

  • Explain what the blue badge is, how you use and display it, who might use it and use for different vehicles and different drivers.
  • Explain where you can park (including national and local rules). These rules should cover on-street and off-street parking, time limits, enforcement, avoidance of congestion and enforcement. They should also cover private car parks (e.g. supermarkets) and use of blue badges in other parts of the UK and in other countries.
  • Clearly state the eligibility criteria for a blue badge (e.g. assessment process). (Note: GOV.UK has a very useful eligibility checker.)
  • Explain how to apply and pay, including what proof you have to provide and how and when you provide it.
  • State how long it will take to receive the badge, what you will be sent and in what format (e.g. print or online).
  • Explain how to renew and to replace if lost, etc.
  • Consider using the GOV.UK option, or at least using that as a check as part of the online service.

Poor practice

Finding the task

  • The social care and parking landing pages are cluttered with no obvious link to information about blue badges.
  • The search for ‘blue badges’ or ‘disabled parking’ returns results for unrelated pages.
  • The A to Z index has no entry for ‘Blue badges’ or ‘Disabled parking’.

Completing the task

  • The information provided misses key items (see list opposite).
  • The information is poorly structured so that key items are hard to find.
  • There is too much important information hidden in ‘pdfs’.
  • Forms request too much, unnecessary information.

Reviewer's tip

Although information about applying for a blue badge is usually good, some sites did not clearly explain the eligibility criteria and instead signposted the form on GOV.UK – which isn’t just a form but is also an eligibility checker.

Advice:

  • Clearly state who is eligible for a blue badge.
  • Explain what proof you have to provide and how and when you have to provide it.
  • State how long it will take to get the badge.
  • Link to additional information about parking rules and disabled parking bays.

Sites that we recommend

Staffordshire CC

Done well. Clear and comprehensive guidance about how to apply and how to submit proof. You can track the progress of your application.

Cheshire East

Very good indeed – clear information on all aspects, plus online application – one small omission of how long the application is likely to take, but that is really very minor and would be quick to fix.

Denbighshire CC

Excellent – well written, clear information and links. Gives sufficient information without being too wordy or complicated.

East Riding of Yorkshire

Clearly explained – very accessible language. Done well.

Herefordshire

Excellent task – lots of relevant information and good links, very easy to spot the route through to task completion.

Hertfordshire CC

Well-judged and well-written content here. Well done!

Lincolnshire CC

Very straightforward, comprehensive information including a download of the DoT scheme guidance providing information about parking eligibility, a definitive source. Very good.

North Lincolnshire

Excellent provision of details of the scheme and access to the claim form. Done very well.

Slough BC

Really well promoted and comprehensive information; so informative!

Swansea City & County

Excellent – bags of useful information and relevant links to more, plus clear instructions for registering.

 

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