Scotland’s blue badge scheme for disabled parking has been extended to cover carers of people with dementia, autism and Down's Syndrome.
Scottish Government officials confirmed they will be now be adopting changes introduced in a pilot project in April 2016, meaning carers and relatives of people who pose a risk to themselves or others in traffic can apply for a badge.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: "I am delighted that the Scottish Government can permanently extend the criteria around the blue badge.
"It's so important that people with disabilities, including cognitive impairments, can live a life of equal opportunities similar to other people.
"Transport Scotland has been working hard to identify and remove barriers which make journeys unfeasible or unpleasant."
He added: "I want to thank the members of the Blue Badge Working Group, who, since 2015, have been working to develop and evaluate recommendations to improve the scheme.
"Their findings are clear. This extension in criteria has made it easier for relatives or carers looking after people with conditions like dementia, autism and Down's syndrome to get closer to their destination - minimising the risks posed by traffic."
Iain Smith, policy and engagement team manager at disability charity Inclusion Scotland, said: "Blue badges support independent living by enabling people who would otherwise not be able to get out and about to access facilities such as work, education, community, social or health services in the same way as others can."
Elaine Harley, helpline manager at Alzheimer Scotland, said having access a blue badge is an "important part of maintaining active participation in their local area" for people with dementia.
We are looking for an enthusiastic volunteer to help us develop Respitality and help unpaid carers get well-deserved breaks!
Carefreebreaks have successfully been providing free short breaks for unpaid carers in England and are now expanding to Scotland.
We would love to see you all at our upcoming Coffee Morning on Saturday 24th Feb.