AN AUTISTIC pensioner claims his blue badge bid was turned down because he was able to walk to Riverside House.
Kenn Wild said he had been told by Rotherham Council staff that turning up to apply for the disabled parking permit showed he did not need one.
Mr Wild (72), of Wath, said he would appeal against the authority’s decision \_ and called for better awareness of hidden conditions.
He said: “They more or less told me that because I could walk into the place and up to the desk, that means I’m Ok and don’t need a blue badge.
“I applied in early September when the new law came in.
“I didn’t hear anything, so I contacted them and it took an hour to get through on the phone.
“I had an email at the end of the month saying that I had been rejected.
“I don’t think Rotherham Council have been trained on this.”
Blue badge criteria was widened in the Government’s shake-up last year to allow people with anxiety disorders and brain injuries.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said at the time that the change would make a huge difference to those with non-visible conditions like autism, dementia and arthritis.
Mr Wild said: “I was diagnosed with autism very late.
“It was after my wife began noticing strange things I was doing.
“You don’t miss things like that after 42 years of marriage so we went to the doctor’s and I had a brain scan.”
He added: “The blue badge would be beneficial to me.
“There are a lot of situations where knowing that I had the car closer to me would help.
“I get anxious with it all, and disorientated.”
The council noted that decisions were not made solely on the presence or absence of any particular diagnosis or condition.
Applications are determined on how autism affects the individual when making journeys because having the condition does not mean automatic qualification for a badge.
Judith Badger, RMBC’s director of finance and customer services, said: “The council must administer blue badges in accordance with the rules set out by the Government, and we have no discretion about applying or disregarding the Government’s rules.
“While we understand Mr Wild’s frustration, we have reviewed all of the evidence and information provided and we are satisfied that his application does not meet the requirements specified by the Department for Transport.
“We have contacted Mr Wild to advise him about his application.”