UK | Man with no leg denied disabled parking blue badge by local council. His doctor wrote a sarcastic letter to the Coucil about growing his leg back

A man with no leg was refused access to a disabled parking ‘blue badge’ by his local council in the UK. His doctor wrote a sarcastic letter to the Coucil regarding growing his leg back.

Disabilities | Equality | Ethics | UK

FACT BOX: In England (UK) a ‘blue badge’ is a physical card that is displayed in a car’s window that allows disabled persons to park closer to stores, buildings and services by allowing access to specially marked disabled parking bays. 

Ben Perry, a semaphore (traffic lights) technician from Worcestershire, England (UK) was told by his local County Council that he did not qualify for a ‘blue badge’.

Perry had the lower half of his leg amputated following a road traffic accident so assumed it would be a fairly straightforward process to qualify to use disabled parking bays.

When the local council refused his application Perry was assisted by his GP (doctor) who wrote a rather amusing and sarcastic letter to Worcestershire County Council on behalf of Perry.

The letter the doctor wrote reads: 

“I was most surprised to be asked for a statement of fact regarding Ben’s disability. I can assure you he has indeed had a traumatic amputation of his right lower leg in a road traffic accident. This has left him severely debilitated with chronic phantom limb syndrome and perpetual pain in his stump which on some days allows him to be independently mobile and other days leaves him unable to walk independently. I would be grateful if you could take this into account when dealing with his requests for blue badges in the future. It is of course unlikely that this situation will change unless medical science allows us to re-grow a new leg for him. Kind regards.”

More than 124’000 people took to social media to call out the Coucil after the letter was shared on Twitter. Sadly many demonstrating similarly ridiculous denials from across the country.

When asked by the Council why he even needed a blue badge Perry replied:

“The reason for a blue badge is to enable a space to be more accessible. I need to open my door fully in order to swing my leg in and out. That is of course on days where I am able to be mobile. Some days I’m unable to walk at all or even wear my prosthesis which means that I am only able to get around with the use of a wheelchair. On these days, a blue badge is critical to maintaining my independence.”

Perry’s denial for the blue badge was eventually over turned and a permit was issued, a fact that he attributed to the media coverage of the story.

A spokesperson for Worcestershire County Council issued the following press statement:

“Worcestershire County Council made a request for further information on Mr Perry’s blue badge application, as we would with any application, in line with current, national Department for Transport guidelines. Mr Perry’s initial application was unfortunately rejected as the extra information we requested was not received in time. However, after providing the further information, Mr Perry’s application has now been approved and his new blue badge should arrive with him in the post in the next few days.”

Many applicants from London however where transport is controlled by TFL (Transport for London) and the London Assembly, have stated that he is lucky to even receive a reply or acknowledgement. One London resident who can not walk with out the use of a walking frame due to a spinal injury sent hospital result and x-rays every month for a year receiving not a single reply or acknowledgement that any application;icartion had even been made.


© 2021 Al-Sahawat Times, Printed and Distributed by IPMG, an Al-Said Group entity. 

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About the Author

Layla El Khalifa
BA in Photojournalism and Masters in Communication Journalism