Disabled St Albans woman’s anger over parking ticket

Small sign at entrance to the slip road

Small sign at entrance to the slip road - Credit: Archant

A WHEELCHAIR user who was ticketed for parking close to her doctor’s surgery believes that people are set up to get parking tickets in St Albans.

Sally Adams, who uses a wheelchair when she is away from home, had an appointment at the Parkbury House surgery in the city last month, when she was given a ticket.

Her carer parked in a bay in Church Street Green, between St Peter’s Church and the Blacksmith’s Arms, where they had parked many times.

But to be on the safe side, they double checked there were no warning signs and although they noticed that two bays had small signs saying they were for residents, there was nothing to suggest that applied to all the bays and no yellow lines.

Sally left her Blue Badge with the time disc on display – but a short time later they came out of the doctors to find the car had been ticketed.

She said: “I had returned well within the three-hour time limit and could not understand how I could be ticketed for ‘parking in a residential bay’ when this bay was not marked as such.”

Sally unsuccessfully appealed against the ticket and submitted photos to show that her car was in a bay which was not marked as residential.

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But rejecting her appeal, the district council disputed that there were no signs to indicate restrictions and said there was a sign plate nearby which motorists had a responsibility to look for.

And she was also told that although the signs were lower than normal because the slip road was in a conservation area, they complied with regulations and applied to all the bays.

Sally, who lives in St Albans but does not go into the city very often because of the “appalling pavements and poor wheelchair access” said the letter appeared to be generic which made her wonder if it was common for disabled drivers to be ticketed at that spot.

She went on: “What annoys me the most is the signs are small yet right across the road are very ugly shops with orange signs.”

Sally, who was prompted to speak out after wheelchair-bound student Glen Shorey was ticketed outside the Alban Arena on a special night out at the theatre, has not paid the fine and is going to challenge the PCN (Penalty Charge Notice).

She added: “The signs need to be much clearer. It seems to me that people are set up to get a ticket. It seems so unfair.”