‘Petty’ parking fine angers blue badge holders

PARKING ISSUE: Michael and Bridget Walsh say they were given a parking ticket unfairly.
PARKING ISSUE: Michael and Bridget Walsh say they were given a parking ticket unfairly.

A blue badge holder has labelled a parking warden’s decision to issue him a fine for failing to display his parking timer as “ridiculous”.

Michael Walsh and his wife Bridget, who has difficulty walking after being treated for tuberculosis last year, parked in a disabled bay in North Street car park in Sudbury on Wednesday morning.

The couple displayed their blue badge and obtained a free three-hour ticket from a parking machine, but neglected to show their parking disc, which should be used to state their time of arrival.

Mr Walsh, from Hawkins Road, said the pair had been dismayed to discover a parking ticket when they returned to the car.

“We had done everything right but just forgot to put the clock on display,” said the 63-year-old.

“When I saw the warden, I told him it was petty and it just needed a bit of common sense. We were not parked illegally.”

The couple’s ticket showed they arrived in the car park at 10.29am and had until 1.29pm before they were required to leave. However, the parking attendant issued the fixed penalty notice at 11.04am.

Mr Walsh and his 51-year-old wife now face the prospect of a £55 fine, or a lesser charge of £25 is they pay within 14 days.

“In cases like this, there needs to be a bit of leeway and a little bit of slack,” said Mr Walsh.

“I think it is so petty that the parking attendant has done this as we have all the necessary documentation.

“I must admit that I saw red a bit because I know when people are trying to pull a fast one and we were not trying to gain any advantage. It is ridiculous.”

Mr Walsh said he planned to lodge an appeal against the fine, but did not hold out much hope of a successful outcome.

A spokesman for Babergh District Council, which owns the car park, said any appeal would involve officers talking with the warden who issued the ticket and reviewing the information they had taken from the incident – including photographs of the car and what was displayed when parked.

“It is important that blue badge holders display the parking clock when parked in disabled bays,” he said.