Southport motorists who have ‘hidden disabilities’ such as anxiety or depression, can now apply for a Blue Badge to help with parking.

The changes came into force on Friday, August 30 when the Department for Transport extended the Blue Badge scheme to include invisible illnesses, including mental health and Crohn’s Disease.

There are currently around 2.35 million people in the UK with blue badge permits because they have physical mobility difficulties or are registered, to an extent, blind.

These permits help them access goods and services by allowing them to park closer to their destination. However, there is already a high demand for parking spaces as on average there are thought to be 50 Blue Badge holders in the North West battling for one dedicated council-owned parking space.