The number of parking badges for people with disabilities has gone down in Lincolnshire in the past 12 months.
There are 39,632 people with a Blue Badge, according to the latest figures from the Department of Transport, compared to 39,636 in 2017.
That is 5.3 per cent of the population, higher than the national rate of 4.2 per cent.
Across the country, 2.35 million badges have been given out by local authorities to people with disabilities or those concerned with their care. The badges, valid for three years, allow the holders to park closer to their destination and remain for longer.
Blue Badges can be issued automatically to some people, such as those receiving higher levels of disability allowance or registered blind. Other are subject to further assessments.
In Lincolnshire, the latest data shows 5,623 new badges were issued automatically and 9,605 after further assessment. Just over half of those automatically eligible have a badge.
Kamran Mallick, Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK said that a difference in Blue Badge usage across the country was partly the result of access to public transport and that people in rural areas were more dependent on cars.
In 2019 the scheme will be extended making people with ‘hidden disabilities’ such as autism and mental health problems to apply.