Martin Click will now be forced to park elsewhere after Southend Council painted double yellow lines in his usual parking space near Southend Hospital.

Drivers of Lego vehicles have contacted Southend News Network to describe their ‘utter outrage’ after Southend Council painted double yellow lines between existing parking bays on Carlingford Drive in Westcliff – until now these gaps have been left clear so that drivers of very small vehicles have had somewhere to park without having to apply for a parking permit or buy a ticket. According to a council spokesperson, the ‘difficult decision’ was taken to paint the lines as there was a risk of a full-size vehicle driver taking legal action for discrimination.

Martin Click, 41, has been an outpatient at Southend Hospital ever since he moved to the area in 2003 – he needs to visit a clinic weekly to have his arms realigned, and until now he has been able to park his vehicle within a very short walking distance of the main buildings. He said: ‘I arrived in Carlingford Drive on Wednesday, at the same time as every other week for as long as I can remember, and I noticed that someone was painting yellow lines between the existing permit and ‘Pay and Display’ car parking bays. He wasn’t able to give me any information, but a passing Civil Enforcement Officer told me that miniature vehicles were no longer being allowed to park in unmarked areas of the road. I had to park in a regular space and purchase a ticket, and when I returned my vehicle had been crushed by a Volvo 4×4 who didn’t notice that I had already parked there.’

A spokesperson for the Southend Council Parking Department said: ‘We took legal advice on the matter beforehand, and it appears that a motorist who owns a normal vehicle could say that we are giving an unfair advantage to people driving vehicles of no more than six inches in length – therefore the decision to paint double yellow lines was taken to protect everyone concerned. We are aware that this is going to lead to a minor amount of inconvenience for some motorists, but at the same time they are more than welcome to pay for a normal parking space. While we are unable to offer a discount for legal reasons, we can supply some miniature road cones to warn other motorists that the space is taken.’

They also added: ‘If a Lego motorist can prove that they are part of a Lego set that resides within a child’s bedroom that falls inside the Hospital Parking Zone, we will also be more than happy to issue a residential permit – the usual procedure and application fees will apply.’