Disabled drivers have been warned that UK-issued Blue Badges may not be recognised in popular European holiday destinations this summer due to an “outrageous” delay in Brexit negotiations.
Badge-holders could face fines if they try to use their permits in 11 EU countries, including France, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy, after the Government failed to reach an agreement over the status of the badges.
Prior to Brexit, the badges were recognised across the EU but two years after the UK left the EU, 11 countries are still “undecided” on whether the badges will be accepted, according to the UK Government website.
While the Government information has not been updated in almost a year, the AA said it had checked with individual nations and the situation had not changed.
The motoring group said the “simply unacceptable” situation left disabled badge holders in limbo, unsure of their rights when travelling abroad.
It warned that disabled drivers could leave themselves at risk of fines if they try to use the permits - which allow holders to park for free and in some restricted areas - while on holiday.
As well as France, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy, the Government is still in negotiations with the authorities in Iceland, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Romania and Slovenia over the validity of UK Blue Badges.
Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said: “To keep blue badge users in limbo is simply unacceptable. Blue Badges are issued because of specific health reasons, and to not have their status confirmed two years down the line is simply outrageous.
“Rather than take a chance, we would encourage Blue Badge users to use drop-off and collection zones where possible while the car is parked in a non-disabled bay. While problematic, it reduces the risk of a vehicle being given a ticket or towed away.”
The Government website recommended blue badge users check with individual nations’ consulates on whether their Blue Badge would be accepted but Mr Cousens said that most could not provide any assurances or advice to the AA.
He added: “Both the UK Government and the 11 European nations yet to ratify the status of UK-issued Blue Badges need to resolve the matter urgently and provide clarity for all concerned.”
A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Negotiations on Blue Badge recognition are ongoing between the UK and individual EU states, and motorists should check our guidance to find out where the Blue Badge is recognised in the EU.”