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Blue Badge Scheme

Volume 458: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what steps his Department has taken to promote the Blue Badge map website; (118772)

(2) whether he plans to expand the geographical coverage of the Blue Badge map website;

(3) how much was spent administering the Blue Badge map website in the last five months.

I have been asked to reply.

DWP is responsible for the Disabled People and Carers information within the Directory website.

A range of marketing activity has been conducted to promote the new service. For example, several disability-related media outlets were approached to highlight the mapping facility and articles have appeared in leading disability publications and on a number of websites that are visited by disabled people. The facility has also been promoted at events and exhibitions, as well as through promotional leaflets and online marketing activities.

In addition, the Disabled People and Carers franchise of the Directgov website, which is hosted by the Office for Disability Issues, a unit within DWP set up to co-ordinate work on disability across Government. It contacted over 500 organisations and individuals, including local authorities, charities and organisations with an interest in disability, to draw their attention to the facility. They were encouraged to place links to the mapping facility on their own websites and to promote the service to other interested parties.

The mapping facility has been purchased under licence initially for one year and currently covers 64 towns and cities across the UK. We are currently considering whether to renew the contract which would potentially expand its geographical coverage.

The cost of administering the service cannot be disaggregated from the overall costs of maintaining and promoting the Disabled People and Carers section of the Directgov website.