A DISABILITY campaigner has criticised parking bosses saying new parking bays are too small for disabled users.

Barry O’Connell, of Saxstead Drive, Clacton, regularly uses the Tendring Council-run car park in Brighton Road to take his assistance dog to the seafront.

But he fears the repainted bays are so small his dogs would have trouble being released from the side of his vehicle.

He is also angry a disabled logo has simply been painted in an ordinary bay with no additional space surrounding it.

He said: “I saw a team of contractors painting the new bays at the Brighton Road car park.

“I use this car park to take my assistance dog off duty to play and relax as well as doing a bit of training.

“You would wonder why they needed to paint bays in a car park that hardly ever gets more than four to six cars. Yet it has bays which cannot hold a 4x4.

“It is the funniest, if not the most stupid, thing I ever seen since being in the disability world.

“I challenge anyone to open the door to get into my vehicle if say somebody decided to park next to me.”

Mr O’Connell has recently be handed a new assistance dog, a retriever called Winston, by Veterans with Dogs, similar to Guy, his retired assistance dog.

Winston gets trained every two weeks by the charity and was set undergo an assessment for one of the highest standards of training but that was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“If I tried to release him from the side of the vehicle and a car parked next to mine, I would be in bad trouble,” added Mr O’Connell.

“The disabled bay has no official chevrons allowing me open wide my door and my passenger door.

“I do huge amount of disability campaigning and I cannot believe this stupidity.”

Mr O’Connell has written to Tendring Council about the matter.

A council spokesman said the hatchings were still to be installed on the disabled parking bays by the contractor as part of the line marking.

“We will be in touch with the contractor to get this work done, which includes hatched spaces to allow ease of vehicle exit and entry, as soon as possible,” he added.

“The normal bays are of a standard size and able to accommodate a 4x4 vehicle.

“We take parking standards seriously, which is why 12 of our car parks have Disability Parking Accreditation from the British Parking Association.”