BASILDON Hospital is handing out fines to disabled drivers to stop them blocking ambulances.

It is ordering its security staff to issue the £40 fines in a bid to stop people parking inconsiderately.

Blue badge holders are allowed to park on single and double yellow lines on a public highway for up to three hours, if it is deemed safe.

Disabled parking on private premises is up to the owner’s discretion.

A hospital spokesman said: “There has been an increase in the number of incidents where ambulances have been obstructed by vehicles being parked outside of marked parking spaces at Basildon Hospital.

“Our security team has been asked to enforce the parking restrictions to ensure patient safety.

“Blue badge holders can park free of charge in any patient/visitor parking space. The parking restrictions do not allow any vehicle to park on double yellow or double red lines on the hospital site.

“Anyone who feels a parking ticket has been issued unfairly can contest it. The details of how to do this are included on the ticket.”

A hospital employee, who asked not to be named, said he felt uncomfortable dishing out the tickets.

He said: “Car parking at the hospital is being made into a profit-making business. It is just wrong.

“Disabled people are getting confused because normally they are allowed to park on yellow lines.

“You see the poor patients hobbling out of hospital, sometimes after being treated for serious illnesses, then they get to their car and see they have a ticket.

“I understand if people are parked blocking an ambulance or fire exit, but many of these people are not.”