Disabled drive told to pay up

PUBLISHED: 12:11 19 January 2006 | UPDATED: 20:19 03 May 2010

PARKING staff have refused to back down after issuing a penalty notice for an out-of-date blue badge owned by a disabled woman diagnosed with leukaemia. The ticket was put on Valerie Lyons' car when she drove her disabled mother Pat Jackson to St Albans j

PARKING staff have refused to back down after issuing a penalty notice for an out-of-date blue badge owned by a disabled woman diagnosed with leukaemia. The ticket was put on Valerie Lyons' car when she drove her disabled mother Pat Jackson to St Albans just before Christmas. Valerie had parked on a single yellow line in Waddington Road and had been careful not to cause an obstruction. But when they returned to find a ticket on the car because her mother's blue disabled badge had expired in October. Valerie said her father, who had been her mother's carer, had died suddenly in the autumn and her mother had been diagnosed with leukaemia shortly afterwards. In the middle of all that she had not realised the badge had expired because no reminder was sent out. Valerie wrote a letter to St Albans District Council's parking shop to explain the extenuating circumstances but got a response saying it was her responsibility as the driver to ensure the disabled badge was up to date - even though it is her mother's badge. The fine has now been paid but Valerie is still very angry at the way her mother has been treated. She said this week: "This unfortunate incident worried my mother throughout the Christmas period and we are all disgusted. "Why don't they send out reminders when these badges expire? My dentist rings me up with a reminder so why don't they do it with something as important as a disabled badge?" A spokesperson for the district council said that because of the considerable parking concessions available to blue badge holders, they had to ensure that they were being used correctly.

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