Armstrong discovers eight-week delay in issuing of blue badges

Strangford MLA Kellie Armstrong has called on the Minister for Infrastructure to make staffing changes after she discovered there is a minimum eight-week delay in issuing blue badges for disabled drivers.

Alliance MLA Mrs Armstrong was informed about the backlog after being contacted by a number of constituents concerned their blue badge payments had been cashed by Transport NI but no badges had arrived.

“I have been told the delay is due to staff shortages caused by illness and holidays,” she said.

“While Transport NI recognises there is a delay in issuing badges, they have failed to communicate this to local hospitals or private car parking firms, meaning many people with disabilities are facing car parking fines because the Department for Infrastructure cannot process applications in a timely manner.

“I call on the Minister to move staff in order to ensure these processing issues are resolved as quickly as possible. He also needs to initiate a customer care charter that confirms no person with disabilities will have to wait more than 30 days for their blue badge to be processed. If the Department can cash payments within days, the blue badge can be processed just as quickly.”

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