Panto parking ticket hits disabled outing

PUBLISHED: 11:52 31 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:48 06 May 2010

Day Care Centre co-ordinator Lyn Bolton with the penalty charge notice

Day Care Centre co-ordinator Lyn Bolton with the penalty charge notice

A TRAFFIC warden ticketed a bus showing a blue disabled badge when it was used to take elderly people to watch a local pantomime in a bid to raise their Christmas spirits. The 26 members and volunteers of the Jersey Farm Day Care Centre (JFDCC) had gone

A TRAFFIC warden ticketed a bus showing a blue disabled badge when it was used to take elderly people to watch a local pantomime in a bid to raise their Christmas spirits.

The 26 members and volunteers of the Jersey Farm Day Care Centre (JFDCC) had gone in two Age Concern mini-buses to the Alban Arena on a recent Tuesday afternoon and they were parked on the double yellow lines outside the venue within metres of each other.

Being elderly or infirm, the members of the centre required the easiest possible access to the Alban Arena and both buses, which are clearly marked Age Concern, have disabled blue badges permanently displayed in the windscreens.

All of the elderly people enjoyed the treat, but their high spirits were dampened when they left to find that one of the buses had been given a parking ticket which incurred a £70 fine.

Lyn Bolton, JFDCC volunteer co-ordinator, who drove the bus which was ticketed, said that two traffic wardens watched them park and didn't question it.

She said: "These visits to the theatre and other places are a highlight for many of our members who, without assistance, would otherwise be unable to leave home. Imagine my dismay therefore to discover on returning to the vehicle that I had been issued with a parking ticket."

Lyn, who has never previously experienced any problems parking outside the Alban Arena, said that the vehicles had the blue badges clearly displayed in the windscreen and were parked within a vehicle length of each other.

She continued: "Organisations such as JFDCC run on donated monies, small grants and through fund-raising efforts of members and volunteers. A fine of £70 is clearly a large drain on our finances and to me it seems to be mean-spirited to give such a vehicle a ticket when it is blatantly obvious why it is parked in this area."

She added: "The person who did this didn't use their common sense."

She has written to St Albans District Council asking them to waive the charge.

A council said that the bus did not have the clock displayed next to the blue badge which shows what time it parked. She said that it is a requirement of the blue badge scheme for the two to be displayed together.

But the spokesperson emphasised that the council do use their discretion in such circumstances and they would be cancelling the penalty charge notice.

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