Disabled drivers in London contacted Liberty, outraged that they had to agree to allow Transport for London TfL inspectors into their homes to get the discount to which they were entitled.
A disabled driver who has a blue badge gets a discount on the Congestion Charge but only if he or she registers for the discount with Transport for London. The Registration Form included a declaration that the driver ‘understands and accepts that Authorised Officers working on behalf of TfL may ask to inspect my home before or after issue of this discount to make sure I have given the correct information.’
Liberty contacted TfL and pointed out that requiring an applicant to allow officers into their home was a significant interference with their right to respect for their private life and their home. We therefore asked them on what basis they justified this interference. Given that the only information that the driver was required to provide in the form was personal details, vehicle details and Blue Badge details, and the form expressly required a copy of the Blue Badge to be included, it was difficult to see why it was necessary for drivers to have their homes inspected.
TfL were not able to justify this requirement, and have now changed their forms so that the requirement is no longer included. They have also given assurances that no home investigation of Blue Badge holders would ever take place.
Whether your are a driver or a walker, a cyclist or a bus traveller, and whether you are able bodied or disabled, you are entitled to your privacy. If TfL or any one else want to come into our homes and interfere with our privacy, they should show that they have a good reason for it.