19 Oct, 2012 @ 11:10
1 min read

Blue badge bother in southern Spain

gerald crest blue badge problem estepona

EXCLUSIVE by Eloise Horsfield

AN expat is warning disabled users to be careful after his car was towed away despite carrying a valid ‘blue badge’ permit from the UK.

Cancer patient Gerald Crest, who has difficulty walking, is demanding his money back from Estepona Town Hall after his car was towed away from a disabled bay in the town.

Despite the town hall and local police later admitting his blue badge, issued by West Sussex County Council, is valid, he is still waiting for a refund of the €69.50 fine.

“We went for a coffee, came back and there was no car,” explained Crest, 68, who used to work in marketing.

“The local police tried to claim the blue badge wasn’t valid in Spain.”

“We’ve been to hell and back,” continued the Briton, who spends half the year on the Costa del Sol with his wife Sharon, 64.

He believes the main issue is the new style of card which bears a hologram instead of a big blue box with a wheelchair symbol on it.

“I have now written to Estepona’s mayor to demand my money back,” he said.

The new electronically-printed badge (pictured below along with the old-style badge) was introduced in January as part of new measures to address fraud.

A West Sussex County Council spokesman said this was the first problem arising from the new blue badge design she had heard of.

“The Department for Transport introduced the new design in January 2012.

“The new badge is designed to be harder to copy, forge or alter and includes enhanced security features for the prevention of abuse.

“The blue badge is recognised throughout the European Union although the concessions provided in other EU countries may not be the same as in the UK. All badge holders are advised to check before travelling.

“We have offered our assistance in this situation by supplying supporting documentation that we hope the local authorities in Spain will consider accordingly.”

Mr Crest later said West Sussex County Council had offered to speak to Spanish police with an interpreter present to ensure he is reimbursed.

Eloise Horsfield

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  1. Welcome to Spain Gerald, the only country where a EU flag on an official document is not recognised, especially if it has “UK” on it, in which case they’ll probably arrest and imprison you.

  2. This situation has been going on in Fuengirola for years even after we registered our card with the car parking department one traffic warden informed us you are English and parking is for the Spanish just pay.

  3. In early May 2014 on the Paseo Maritimo, Fuengirola, after being parked there since February, 3 Spanish Police stood around my car looking for any fault they could find in the way it was parked and argued that a new Spanish rule makes it necessary to get a Spanish card. I shouted at them and got very angry and they then left me alone before I left in June.
    The Office for Spanish cards has a non-working e-mail address!
    The Costa del Clouds (Chemtrails – I advise you to Google Chemtrails! and take the MSM antidote to the poison we are being sprayed with) has the worst air pollution now.Pale, weak sunshine. Difficult to get a tan. Cold and miserable has changed out of all recognition.No more deep blue skies. El Defensor del Pueblo denies the chemtrails saying they do not exist. I presented the photographic evidence. Ignored!
    Planes deliberately lay 8 parallel trails at at time to blot out the sun. One day we had a BLUE and DRY fog! No condensation on the railings! Visibility down to 40 yards.
    Take Care!
    UN Agenda 21 or depopulation?

  4. Today our car was removed from a disqbled bay in Barcelona and left half way across the city on the road! An Excuse was given about the festival it the bay we used was not suspended. If there was any justification for the removal of our car we would surely be paying a fine like everyone else.

  5. I had my car towed away in Jerez (June 2016) , it was in a disabled bay showing a disabled badge. at the pound they said it didn’t have a blue badge, I told them to look on the right hand side of the car,they then said it was only for spanish people, they then asked for the ‘fine’ to be paid in cash, i said I had no cash on me, only a card, they offered to run me to my hotel, in Gibralter to get cash. this is crooked as you have 20 days to pay a fine, I asked for an interpreter but didn’t get one, they refused to let me use a toilet, I had to change an illestomy at the back of the car in the pound, my other traveler also has cancer which she is in the process of having treatment for.there were other spanish cars parked in front of me, they were not towed away, in fact not one other car was brought into the pound during the afternoon, I got there at 1pm and they eventually let me see the ticket at 6pm, when they knew I was not going to pay them cash.

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