A PENSIONER says the disabled community is being made to feel “non-existent” after she became the latest blue badge holder to receive a parking fine.

Edith Newell, 66, of Little Clacton, has suffered with multiple sclerosis for nearly 30 years and visits Colchester Hospital for check-ups.

Due to her condition, Mrs Newell is enrolled with the Motability scheme, meaning she is entitled to lease a new car every three years.

To continue parking for free during her hospital visits, Mrs Newell is required to notify the hospital when she gets a new registration number.

Because the vehicle is in her name, Mrs Newell also has to go to the receptionist with her blue badge to prove her eligibility.

But following a recent trip to Colchester Hospital, she was left shocked after being slapped with a fine.

Mrs Newell said: “We registered the new car and the guy told us that it was done, so we went back and placed the permit in the car and parked up in a disabled bay.

“I even had to drag myself along to the office to show my face because last time my husband was told I needed to be there.

“Now I have been sent a £35 fine, which can go up to £70 if it isn’t paid in time. I shouldn’t be penalised.”

The Car Parking Partnership, the private company responsible for issuing the fine, is employed by the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust.

Mrs Newell’s case is one of several incidents flagged within the past month involving fines for disabled drivers.

She said: “Stress is something which triggers my condition and makes it worse and this is more than worrying.

“I am trying to appeal but on the form I have there is no box I can tick to say I parked there because I am disabled.

“It makes you feel disregarded and non-existent and according to this we just don’t exist.”

Fiona Sparrow, head of facilities at Colchester Hospital, said: “We’re grateful to Edith for bringing this to our attention and we are sorry for the inconvenience the system has caused.

“If Edith would like to get in touch with us directly we will happily consider her appeal. We do have an appeal process in place for anyone who thinks they’ve been unfairly fined.”