St Albans disabled student’s parking ticket woe

Glen Shorey with his father and Sandra Stellon, support teacher at Sandringham School

Glen Shorey with his father and Sandra Stellon, support teacher at Sandringham School - Credit: Archant

A HEARTLESS traffic warden ruined a special night for a wheelchair-bound student whose carer was ticketed for parking outside the Alban Arena.

And to compound the distress the ticket caused Friedreich’s Ataxia sufferer Glen Shorey, 19, of Corinium Gate, St Albans, the district council has rejected his appeal against the penalty notice and told him that it must be paid.

Glen and his carer David Peacock had gone to see Suggs: My Life Story at the Arena earlier this month and parked on double yellow lines by the theatre so that Glen could get out on to the kerb easily.

He had been invited to watch the sound check at 5pm and to meet the Madness frontman – one of his heroes – before the show started.

But when the pair came out of the Arena half an hour after the show ended at 10pm, it was to find that David’s car had a parking ticket on it.

Glen said: “We were distressed to say the least when we saw the penalty on the windscreen. The ticket was given because we had overstayed the three hours on the badge.”

In his appeal against the ticket, Glen said he had used his blue badge on double yellow lines for longer than three hours previously because a traffic warden had told him it was acceptable in the St Albans area.

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He pointed out that he was unaware that was not the case because of the lack of signs laying down the rules.

Glen said he thought the parking restrictions ended at 6pm – around the same time as able-bodied people could park free in the council’s own car park behind the Arena – but the ticket on David’s car had been written at 8.21pm.

Describing it as discrimination to penalise disabled people, he said he could not use the car park because he needed to be in close proximity to the Arena.

Glen, who first featured in the Herts Advertiser last August when he gained the A-level grades he needed from Sandringham School to study journalism at Brunel University, said it was down to him to pay the fine but he had no income and had already accrued a debt of £8,500 from university.

In the council’s response to Glen’s appeal, he was told that three hours was the maximum time someone with a blue badge could park on single or double yellow lines and that stipulation was on the time clock which has to be set before the vehicle was left parked.

It also confirmed that parking attendants acting on behalf of the council were not allowed to exercise discretion but were told to write a penalty charge notice for anyone who went over time.

Glen’s comments about free parking in the the Civic Centre car park after 6.30pm were dismissed was “irrelevant” to the issuing of the parking ticket.

Glen said this week: “I want to flag up the problem in the hope the rules can be changed. I have paid the fine because if I continue to fight it I would have to pay further costs.”