A FAMILY have hit out as ‘nasty comments’ are putting them off regular visits to Lyme Regis.

The visitors include a 19-year-old girl with severe arthritis, which makes it painful for her to get around. But they say that when they use her Blue Badge to park on the seafront, passers by can be heard making comments claiming they got the parking permit on the black market, and even pointing and laughing.

The family have issued a plea for people to be more considerate – and not pass judgement which can be hurtful.

The teenager’s mum, who asked not to be identified, said: “We go there because it’s easy for all of us, and we love the beach. She is mobile, but can’t sit for long periods of time without her back being supported, and she has had to have weekly injections for the last 18 years, which is nearly her whole life.

“She does have a wheelchair but she doesn’t always like using it.”

The comments used to make her feel sorry for people’s ignorance, the mum added, but now she is just angry.

“For my daughter it is a mixture of anger and embarrassment. She is 19, she doesn’t need this.

“It is hard enough for her having to deal with not being able to do what her friends can, without people accusing her of making up a disability.

“She has arthritis in her jaw, elbows, fingers, hips, knees, all over her body.”

It’s not the first time the family have been faced with unfriendly comments.

The mum said: “We used to live in London when my daughter was around three, and one day I was going to the opticians and parked across the road. She was very unwell at that point and had a specialised buggy. My mum pushed her in the buggy across the road while I locked the car, and someone said I shouldn’t have parked there.”

People should remember that it is not always the driver who is disabled, the family stressed. At one point they were hoping to move to Lyme Regis, but the plans have been shelved now because of the attitudes of some people.

The mum added: “People make these comments knowing that my daughter is sat there and can hear every word. It’s just rude.

“We are very proud of her but she shouldn’t have to cope with this.”