MORE than 100 blue badge holders are battling for every dedicated council-owned parking space in Essex, new figures have revealed.

Across the county there are 711 blue badge spaces with 80,348 people holding a badge. sent Freedom of Information requests to councils responsible for parking across the UK.

It comes as the scheme changed this week and means people with hidden disabilities will be eligible for a permit.

The data shows on average 113 people in Essex are battling for each dedicated blue badge parking space.

Across the East of England the average was 62 and in the UK it was 30 people.

Last year, more than 156,821 parking charge notices were issued to drivers for wrongly parking in the spaces.

The data showed 3,221 fines were issued in Essex and 13,021 fines across the East of England.'s study found 75 per cent of blue badge holders had been forced to park in a standard space and 17 per cent had to stay in the car.

The firm found thousands of drivers admitted misusing a space and 42 per cent were confronted about it.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at, said: “Clearly more parking for Blue Badge holders is needed – 30 drivers to one space is quite a challenge.

"It’s no wonder some of these drivers have had to park elsewhere. And the number of people competing for spaces is only going to grow as more people can apply for a blue badge now.

“Drivers who misuse these spaces are making the problem even worse. They should be more respectful and leave them free for those who need them."

Most common excuses for parking in a disabled bay

• I was only going to be quick (36%)

• There were plenty of Blue Badge spaces available (28%)

• I couldn’t find another space (24%)