Disabled driver, 75, gets £100 parking fine while getting his Covid vaccination
- Rex Butland drove to his first vaccine appointment in Cheltenham on January 15
- He parked nearby because of his mobility issues and found a space at the lido
- But five days later, he received a £100 fine he branded ‘totally unacceptable’
Rex Butland has been given a £100 parking fine while he was receiving a Covid vaccination
A disabled driver has been given a £100 parking fine while he was receiving a Covid vaccination.
Rex Butland, 75, received his first dose at Cheltenham’s East Community Fire Station on January 15.
He tried to park as close as possible to the vaccination centre because of his mobility problems and found a space at the nearby Sandford Parks Lido.
The pensioner did not buy a parking ticket because he ‘never had to before’ and believed blue badge holders did not have to pay for parking.
But Mr Butland ended up with a £100 Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).
He said: ‘All roads surrounding the property had yellow cones strategically placed prohibiting any kerbside car parking, including those that would generally be available for blue badge holders.
‘I was therefore presented with no option other than to find a suitable space elsewhere, close to the centre but also within safe walking distance, assisted by my walking stick for balance and stability.’
Mr Butland said the wet weather, fallen leaves, potholes and uneven footpaths made the walk to the centre dangerous for him so he headed to the neareset available parking space.
He tried to park as close as possible to the vaccination centre because of his mobility problems and found a spot at the nearby Sandford Parks Lido (pictured)
He said: ‘l have used the swimming pool and car park, allocated for blue badge holders use, regularly for a number of years prior to introduction of the recent lockdown periods.
‘I have never had to pay for its use and, as the Lido gates were closed, l was unable to find any Lido staff member to clarify disabled car parking usage and possible charges applicable on this particular Covid-19 induced occasion.
‘So I parked my car in the usual blue badge holder’s space then negotiated the tiresome walk to the centre.’
But five days later Mr Butland received a PCN of £100 from Parking Eye which he branded a ‘totally unacceptable but clearly extremely lucrative procedure’.
Bosses at the Lido say the decision to charge disabled drivers for parking was made before the pandemic.
Five days after his vaccination appointment, Mr Butland received a PCN of £100 from Parking Eye
Julie Sargent, chief executive of Sandford Parks Lido said their new parking system cannot automatically differentiate blue badge holders.
She said: ‘Since introducing this change we have installed 20 signs which inform the visitor that tariffs apply for blue badge holders.
‘I’m really sorry that this man didn’t see the signs and as a consequence feels let down by the system.’
The Lido has since added more signs and a banner to alert disabled drivers to the new charges, and have a team on site to help people attending vaccinations.
Ms Sargent said: ‘For anyone who may have received a fine while attending their vaccination there is an appeals process on the reverse of the letter which informs them they should send their letter of appointment for the vaccination centre to Parking Eye and the appeals team will take this into account.
‘Once they have submitted an appeal the charging process is halted at the £60 fine limit if submitted within the timeframe indicated on the initial documentation.
‘Please be mindful our team are either physically manning the car park or on furlough due to financial pressures on our organisation.’
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