SWINDON is facing a shortage of parking spaces for blue badge holders, according to a new study.

The news comes as more people with hidden disabilities become eligible to apply for permits.

New data showed that there are 44 blue badge holders battling for each dedicated council-owned parking space on average in the south west. This is higher than the national average of 30 badge holders per space.

This shortage is not helped by perfectly-able drivers wrongly parking in blue badge spaces because they are closer to entrances or bigger than other spaces.

Here's what you told us on Facebook...

Ali Butler: I have used a wheelchair for years and never did I use the blue badge parking spaces until I got my blue badge three weeks ago. So why are people so rude when you question them about parking in these spaces? They are clearly not meant to be used without a blue badge.

Charlotte Sawyer: How is there a shortage? There are loads of disabled spaces! Every time I go to Asda, for example, there are so many open disabled spaces. It annoys me when able people park in disabled spaces, the same as when someone without children parks in a parent and child space. That’s where there’s a real shortage.

Rachael Cordy: Parents can park anywhere. For people in a wheelchair, no blue badge spaces can be the difference in them being able to go to shop or not.

Andrew Penfold: Too many people use the blue badges when they don't have any disabilities.

Angela Sindy Reid: People can have ‘hidden’ disabilities. Not all are confined to a wheelchair and some have good and bad days but you won’t see the bad days as that’s when they don’t venture out.

Gordon Todd: I’ve never seen all the disabled spaces used up anywhere.

Sonia Dykes: I think it's a great thing having an parking badge for people with hidden disabilities, but I think they should be a different colour to wheelchair users. I think this would make people who see people with hidden disabilities more aware, as in time people will come to know that the two colours differentiate between the two types of disablilites, non-abled and abled. Also, I have never had an issue with finding disabled parking bays.

Leigh Naomi Stone: My partner is a blue badge user as he is permanently in a wheelchair. It isn't even about being near the store it's about being able to open the door wide enough maybe shops should put some further away from the store. Less likely to be abused.

Jane Richardson: Too many relatives using them, I see it everyday where I work, just so they can get free parking.

Jamie Turner: We have more than enough at Orbital.

Sophie Watson: I’ve seen lots of empty disabled spaces across Swindon. They can also park on double yellows, which offers more flexibility as well.

Chelle White: I think the large disabled bays should be used by wheelchair users and people with severe mobility issues. I know there are invisible illnesses as I have one – rheumatoid arthritis – but would never use a space unless my illness progressed to the point that it was visible.

Jason Roberts: You say it like it's the people with hidden disabilities' fault that they're now allowed to apply for the badge! Surely this would be better aimed at the council and how quickly they can make some changes. It would be easy for them to do. Order some paint and brushes and send two workers out for a few hours. Done.

Danielle Midwinter: Swindon is really good compared to some places, trust me.