AA tells Blue Badge holders in Europe to be cautious about using the badge in some EU countries including France
Blue Badge holders are being warned that their documents might not be recognised in European countries including France and Spain this summer as a result of post-Brexit negotiations which remain unresolved.
As hundreds of thousands of travellers head to the continent for their holiday, popular destinations including France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece are among 11 European nations which have yet to decide if a UK-issued Blue Badge, which enables people with disabilities or health conditions to park closer to their destination, is a document they are willing to recognise.
The AA, which has slammed the position as 'simply unnacceptable', is warning travellers they risk parking fines, having their car clamped or even towed away, if they use a disabled parking space in a country, which since the UK left the EU, has failed to decide if it will continue to accept such documents.
According to the government's own website, discussions relating to the future recognition of Blue Badges are 'ongoing' and while some countries, including Austria, Cyprus, Denmark and Germany, have agreed to the future use of the UK-issued documents in their country, more than 10 EU nations remain 'undecided'. You can read the full list here.
Other countries where a UK Blue Badge may also not be accepted include Bulgaria, Iceland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Romania and Slovenia.
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. While the government website asks Blue Badge users to ask the Consulates for further advice on if their Blue Badge would be accepted, most could not provide any assurances or advice to the AA."
Travellers attempting to get on holiday, since many international travel restrictions were lifted earlier this year, have faced a number of problems including cancelled flights, missing baggage, long airport queues and most recently, more than four hours of delays at Dover on the first day of the school holidays which forced officials to declare a critical incident.
The ongoing travel issues have forced the government to step in with extra help and support for the aviation industry while the Port of Dover blamed Friday's delays on issues with French border control.