DISABLED drivers say they feel excluded from parts of Colchester as changes have been made to parking.

In car parks where an ANPR camera system has been installed, disability blue badges must be registered.

The changes have been made at Colchester Hospital and Colchester North train station.

Both Greater Anglia and the hospital have said the badges must be registered so drivers do not get fined by mistake while going through the ANPR system.

However, residents like Celia Crossley, from Colchester, feels penalised by the changes.

She has arthritis and has been a blue badge holder for three years.

She said: “It took me all afternoon to fill in Greater Anglia’s online disability parking form, which requires you to first register giving details of phone numbers, address, email, and the car you will be using, plus uploading a photo of my blue badge.

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“Greater Anglia has now restricted me to using only one car in the car park, and also I can’t go with a friend by train because their car won’t be registered.

“I use two cars and sometimes I go with a carer, so we could be in any car. The process was a bit technical and torturous.”

“The person also has only 24 hours to register their badge after parking, it’s fairly unfriendly.”

She also raised the issue of disabled drivers being “excluded” from the High Street.

She added: “This is unless you are lucky enough to get one of the six spaces at the Fenwick’s end or the six spaces at the bottom end of High Street.

“Unless of course it’s on a day when the market is in the High Street, when there are no disabled spaces at the top of the High Street.

“The council wonders why people don’t want to come into the town to shop. It’s not that disabled people don’t want to, we can’t.”

Failure to register a badge could result in an excess penalty charge being issued even if the badge is displayed.

A Greater Anglia spokeswoman said: “We are in the process of installing automatic number plate recognition at Colchester railway station car park.

“Blue badge holders are asked to register their details with NCP in advance to enable them to park for free at any of our ANPR car parks.

“We know many of our customers choose to drive to their local station and ANPR makes it easier for our customers to pay for parking as it increases the variety of payment options, and it can also improve security.”

Colchester Council spokesman said: “The council was able to provide additional disabled parking at Vineyard Street car park, when the market relocated to High Street in 2015.

“In addition to the extra parking spaces at the car park, disabled bays are also available at Head Street and Castle Bailey.”