A WOMAN dealt an £100 fine for breaching a car park time limit because she fell over says disabled people are being discriminated against.
Jeanne had been running errands at the Kingston Shopping Centre in Hull last September when she took a tumble on the way back to her car.
Jeanne was given an £100 parking fine for being 16 minutes late after falling overCredit: MEN Media
She says she needed to wait before driving due to a heart condition but the delay prompted an immediate £100 fine.
Jeanne tried to appeal the ticket after being slowed down by her fall but was turned down.
In her first appeal to Smart Parking, she claims to have not remembered the fall as the fine notice was issued a month after the contravention.
But in a subsequent appeal to an independent authority she was turned down again after describing the circumstances.
As a gesture of goodwill, Smart Parking have now cancelled the charge
after hearing about Jeanne’s ordeal on the day of the fine.
Jeanne said: “I couldn’t believe it when the letter came through, I
couldn’t even remember being late back to my car so I appealed and
said I thought disabled people had more time with a blue badge.
“The first appeal was turned down and I told my daughter about it and
she reminded me that the day of the fine was when I’d had a fall.
“Disabled people take a bit longer doing things anyway and lots of
shops still had Covid restrictions at that time so it was only one or
two in at a time.
“I had a fall going back to the car park because of my mobility, when
I got to the car I had to wait for my heart to calm down because I
have a condition and it wouldn’t have been safe to drive.”
Jeanne pointed out that even if she had wanted to pay for extra time
at the car park, she wouldn’t have been able to as the system requires
a smartphone payment and she doesn’t have mobile data.
After Jeanne’s initial appeal against the fine was turned down she
turned to Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA) with the full
details of her fall but was turned down once again.
Her fine was upped to £170 with final notices being sent with warnings
of bailiff action if she did not pay up.
She said she would go to court to fight the fine which she felt showed
a lack of compassion to disabled motorists.
Jeanne said: “I’ve been back and there is a way to pay for extra time
but it is only on a smartphone, there isn’t a machine to put more time
on your car if you need it.
“When I went on Facebook to look the company up I saw about 80 percent of the complaints were from disabled people, it is vulnerable people that are being caught out by this most of the time.
“There needs to be a bit more understanding and a bit more empathy
from these companies when it comes to blue badge holders, it isn’t
fair and it’s not right. “
A Smart Parking spokesperson said: “Smart Parking operate a BPA
audited appeals service, and we encourage motorists to contact us if
they feel they have been incorrectly charged.
“Ms Young did appeal to us, but made no mention of having an accident,
but instead said she assumed parking was free for 2 hours.
“This is not the case and is clearly highlighted on numerous signs
positioned around the car park. In light of this we rejected her
“She subsequently contacted the independent appeals service POPLA, who also rejected her appeal.
“However, now we have been given this additional information we have
cancelled the charge as an act of goodwill.”
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