I am able-bodied but I never park in designated disabled car park spaces because I understand the challenges people face that may need closer access to shops, services and facilities in towns or cities.
Having limited access to parking can present barriers to those who have walking difficulty, use a wheelchair or have impaired vision (high kerbs, poorly designed and located street furniture).
Today, I saw a delivery truck take up a disabled parking spot for a few minutes while he unloaded his truck. No one else needed the space at that time, but that’s not the point. The spaces have a purpose and are clearly marked as designated spaces.
I often see blatant abuse of these spaces by drivers dashing into pharmacies or bakeries, picking up their children from school or unloading goods from delivery trucks.
So, I thought I would write a more detailed blog post for tourists who may visit the French Riviera and are struggling to find information in English on the rules and regulations for disabled parking.
I hope you find my post informative, any feedback is welcome and appreciated.
The EU Blue Parking Card
European Member States have a common parking card for people with reduced mobility – the EU Blue Parking Card (or disc). It looks like this (click on link): EUbadgeE
If you are visiting from the United Kingdom you are also entitled to use your UK Blue Badge when in France.
In 1978, the ECMT (European Conference of Ministers of Transport) agreed that all Member Countries of the ECMT would grant the same parking concessions to people with disabilities as they offered their own nationals. In 1999, this also extended to 7 non-EU Associated Countries being Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand and United States.
This means that disabled motorists from all ECMT Member and Associate countries are now entitled to the same parking concessions as nationals in all ECMT Countries.
The only condition is the display of a badge showing the international wheelchair symbol and the motorists name.
List of countries where their own disability parking badges can be used in France
France (of course!)
Ireland (Republic of)
New Zealand **
South Korea **
United States **
** Special note for non-EU Associated Countries: Your countries parking card must have a ‘wheelchair’ logo and your name clearly displayed on the car dashboard. There is a risk of being verbalized by the police who are not always familiar with foreign parking cards, as there are so many different ones from one country to another. If this happens, you can challenge the ‘infringement’ by making it clear that your country is an associate member of ECMT (‘CEMT’ in French) and by citing ‘Resolution n°97/4’.
For ECMT countries, you can print this French translation to accompany your parking badge (click on link) notice_france
Disabled parking rules in France
On roads and in car parks, parking places reserved for disabled people are marked with a wheelchair symbol.
Parking on roads – Do not park on roads where waiting is prohibited.
You may park beyond the time limit on roads where parking is free but restricted by time. Check locally to establish what the concession is.
Except for Paris where any vehicle with a parking badge can park for free on roads, you must pay to park on roads where payment is required.
Do not drive or park in pedestrian zones.
Parking in car parks – Car parks do not generally offer concessions to vehicles displaying a disabled person’s parking card.
Disabled parking at Nice Airport
Persons with disabilities and reduced mobility : You can park on levels P2 or P5 (4 days minimum), show your disability card to a cashier when you return and enjoy P8 long term car park fees (subject to availability).
Locations of disabled parking spaces (handicap stationnement)
For specifics of disabled parking on the French Riviera, search on http://parking.handicap.fr by entering a town into the search box. A sample search for Nice is here: http://parking.handicap.fr/places-de-parking.php?sel_sch_city=Nice