18. Driving for People with a Disability
Learning to Drive
If you would like to learn to drive and have a disability, assessment centres provide practical advice on driving, car adaptations and car choice for disabled drivers and their passengers.
Some breakdown companies have discount schemes for drivers with a disability. Contact your breakdown service for further information.
If you receive the higher rate component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or the enhanced rate of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) you, a member of your family or your Carer could be able to drive a new car under the Motability scheme.
If you are between 16 and 24 years old and receive the higher rate Motability component of DLA or the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP, you can apply under the Motability scheme for a scholarship, which will entitle you to have free driving lessons. If you already have a car under the Motability scheme which is at present being driven by someone else but you wish to learn to drive it yourself, help with driving lessons may also be available.
Some people who have a disability are unable to use seat belts. An application form to apply for exemption from wearing a seat belt can be obtained from your GP who may make a charge for endorsing the application.
If you get the higher rate mobility component of DLA or the enhanced rate mobility component of PIP, you, or someone you choose, may apply for exemption from Vehicle Excise Duty. Anyone receiving either of these rates should automatically have been sent a Vehicle Excise Duty exemption form by the DWP.
The blue badge scheme provides a range of benefits to people for disabled people who travel either as drivers or passengers. For more information on how to apply for a blue badge, please refer to DIB Information Sheet 1 (Blue Badge applications).
If you are disabled, you may be able to have a dropped kerb to allow access onto a driveway.
The first step is to get planning permission off your local authority. For classified roads please contact Cheshire East Council, Planning Department, Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe, Telephone: 0300 123 5014. The application form for this can be obtained from the Cheshire East website: http://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/highways_and_roads/highways-licences-and-permits/dropped-kerb.aspx
There is a cost of £77.50 to make this application.
When planning permission has been received or if the access is on an unclassified road, application must be made in writing to the Area Maintenance Engineer for the relevant area. Someone will then visit the site and assess whether it will be possible for a dropped kerb to be installed. There may be a cost incurred for this visit.
If the Council give permission for a dropped kerb to be fitted, they will then provide you with a price for this work to be carried out, or will provide you with a list of approved contractors who will provide you with a quote to carry this out. You may not carry out the work yourself, unless you meet a number of requirements which are detailed in the document ‘Drop Kerb or Vehicular Crossing’ Application on the Cheshire East website.
Blue badge holders may be entitled to a disabled parking bay outside their house, but this would be subject to a Social Care assessment and the safety of having one in that location. Adult Social Care can be contacted on 0300 123 5010.
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