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Parked in a disabled bay with a blue badge and got a ticket for being a wheelchair user!


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Hi, hoping someone has some advice.

 

While visiting family last week, my husband parked up in a disabled bay in a council car park while we took the children to the park.

Parking was free for up to three hours.

Blue badge and time clock displayed clearly.

 

 

he drives a WAV,

he has to be careful about how to park,

very few car parks have spaces that are ok for WAVs.

 

 

This particular car park layout meant for safely and to not cause an obstruction,

he was within two BB spaces, ie making a 'through' space.

We've parked there before with our previous WAV.

 

He got out the van from the back,

two of our children were with him and they noticed a traffic warden nearby,

he checked the sign,

and went off to meet me in the park.

 

He came back to the WAV alone just over two hours later,

got in the back,

got into driving position

and realised he'd been given a ticket!

 

He called over another traffic warden,

who said the first one had told him she'd ticketed him for occupying two spaces and she'd called her supervisor to ask if she could do it.

My husband asked to speak to the supervisor himself.

2nd traffic warden refused.

 

My husband asked him if he were not a power wheelchair user,

and could park up without alighting from the rear,

if he would have got a ticket.

The 2nd warden said no.

 

2nd warden also said if he'd purchased a ticket from the machine as well, he wouldn't have got a ticket.

The sign says disabled parking free for up to three hours,

nothing about parking a WAV and alighting safely,

or having to buy a ticket for having a WAV.

 

He told him he couldn't cancel it, so to appeal, gave him a number to ring for the supervisor as well.

 

My husband asked how he was supposed to get the ticket off the windscreen, he couldn't reach from his chair.

Bearing in mind he was alone,

the vehicle is obviously a WAV with no drivers seat,

and the blue badge is directly in front of the drivers seat

anyone checking that could see it clearly,

 

 

the 1st warden would have looked directly into the space to place the ticket.

The 2nd traffic warden had to hand him the ticket.

The time on the ticket is 15 minutes after he got there,

and is for parking over a line.

 

He told my husband he should have parked in one space and caused an obstruction. There wasn't actually room for him to deploy the ramp to alight from the rear of the vehicle if he'd done that.

 

By this time, my husband was really stressed and upset, getting chest pains, and called me,

the traffic warden left before I'd got there.

We waited about 15 minutes till he'd calmed down and felt better but the warden didn't come back.

 

My husband didn't get a choice with motability about the size of the WAV, it's because of the equipment, ramp etc, in the back and adaptations.

 

 

He's had it for almost two years, we park in car parks every day.

On the advice of our local police, we also carry cones to place behind because we've had a couple of incidences of people blocking the rear doors so he can't get in.

 

 

My husband parks in the safest way possible so not to get run over when getting out, to avoid causing an obstruction etc.

He's never had a parking ticket before, especially not for being a wheelchair user with a WAV, can't believe he said that!

 

The children confirmed they'd seen the first traffic warden as they'd parked up with their dad.

She could have come across then and spoken to him, the car park wasn't busy, but instead she decided to ticket him.

I bet she told her supervisor it was just a van with a BB, not a WAV with no drivers seat.

 

I messaged the local council that evening, and they're supposed to be looking into it.

He has 14 days to appeal, it's now day 7.

The council say it's an unusual situation and apologised but they haven't yet cancelled the ticket, apparently the team who'd look into it were away last week, no excuse yet for this week.

 

I checked their 'other rules' for car parks online later on, and it mentions nothing about parking WAV's safely, without causing obstruction.

If he'd parked like they wanted him to park, he wouldn't have been able to get out at all.

We took photos of how he was parked, of the sign and how the 2nd warden thought he should have parked.

 

Their sign said people 'may' get a ticket, suggesting they should use some common sense :-/ Not sure how ticketing a BB holder parked in a BB space is common sense at all, or to anyone's benefit really. Seems like a massive waste of time for them and us.

 

I'm emailing the council again today, to find out if they want him to go through appealing or what.

It's 200 miles away, so we can't just go in, or we would! Very much feels like he's been ticketed for needing a power wheelchair and adapted vehicle though. He's never got a ticket where we live, or anywhere else actually, and he parks up for work every day in a BB space.

 

Any advice on how to handle this?

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You can and should appeal - don't rely on just entering into dialogue with them, or waiting for them to to the right thing. Get a proper letter drafted explaining the situation and why he had to park like that. Include photos if possible, so they can see the vehicle. (They may have these themselves, which will help.)

 

A word of advice - don't say things like "ticketed for being a wheelchair user". That's not what he was ticketed for. He was ticketed for taking up more than one space, and your appeal will be to explain why he had no option.

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He was parked over two spaces because the WAV (wheelchair accessible vehicle) is large because of the fact it has a ramp in the back and he needs space for two powerchairs (the nhs one weighs a mere 27 stone empty, the all-terrain one is much heavier), as well as fold up seats and anything else for work etc. It's heavy because of the adaptations as well, so it has to be a cartain size or something, I don't know, but he didn't get a choice with motability (and no choice not to use motability, because of how expensive the adaptations are!). Independence comes with a big vehicle. Before that he couldn't go out alone in our previous vehicle because the ramp wasn't automatic and he had to transfer, now he drives in and goes.

 

He wasn't over the hatched areas at all, he was parked 'through' two, so perfectly within the lines, but over the middle divider.

 

If he'd parked up how he does in other BB spaces, he wouldn't have been able to get out because he needs a 3m gap behind, and the row of parking spaces behind would mean if someone parked there they would be causing an obstruction to him getting in and our- which can get you a police caution for obstruction (we've had to call the police to get people who've parked their car behind blocking us before, once outside our house!).

 

If only life was as simple as being able to park in any space because he gets out the back, it would make our lives a lot easier! But it isn't quite like that in reality! He still has to get the side door open if he's got one of the kids with him, or if he needs to get equipment out the side as well. He can't squeeze through a gap of cars in a powerchair to the side door.

 

Wish there was actual WAV parking in more car parks. There have been more than a couple of times he's nearly been taken out by a vehicle driving behind when he's been on the ramp, you'd be amazed by the amount of people who walk directly behind the automatic doors when they're opening too, and then look so surprised, he's had to stop the ramp half way sometimes because some fool walked out behind. I sometimes stand at the back, but I'm not always there with him. Parking a WAV is a massive pain and really you'd think it wouldn't be, you would think it would be the standard. I think it should be a two-tier system for BB parking.

 

We know all the best places to park in our local area, typical going back to where we used to live causes a problem!

 

It was the traffic warden that said he wouldn't have got a ticket if he wasn't a wheelchair user. I've spent the last few months going over the Equality Act for a separate issue related to disability, and indirect discrimination (wheelchair user means bigger vehicle, get a ticket for parking because of that etc) is something we generally ignore but it's everywhere :-(

 

The council have said the emails we've given them are being considered as an appeal, and that they're still looking into it, it's am unusual situation apparently. If we haven't heard by day 13, going to put in an appeal on their appeal form anyway.

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I still don't get it, even if its transit size the bay with hatching either side is big enough and nobody can park behind without being in the middle of the road? I can see the issue in some car parks but the bays here seem to have been well thought out. Maybe if you get the photos from the council it may become more obvious what the issue is but as I see it there is little chance of getting off unless the Council feels sorry for you.

 

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Bridgford+Road+Car+Park,+Bridgford+Rd,+West+Bridgford,+Nottingham+NG2+6AP/@52.9336468,-1.1281379,57m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x4879c3c0a4ae22f7:0xc7acfa186117598a!8m2!3d52.9337446!4d-1.1282147

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The council have said the emails we've given them are being considered as an appeal, and that they're still looking into it, it's am unusual situation apparently. If we haven't heard by day 13, going to put in an appeal on their appeal form anyway.

 

Yes, do. They will no doubt consider what you've sent already as an appeal, but if it doesn't contain a clear, concise account, then you will be reducing your chances of getting it cancelled. You really only need three or four sentences containing the gist of the issue, and explaining how the vehicle doors operate etc.

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