Fined driver says parking system discriminates against the disabled

PUBLISHED: 12:54 25 August 2009 | UPDATED: 00:01 16 June 2010

A DISABLED visitor to Seaton has complained that the parking system adopted at the Co-op store in Seaton could discriminate against disabled drivers.

A DISABLED visitor to Seaton has complained that the parking system adopted at the Co-op store in Seaton could discriminate against disabled drivers.

ParkingEye, which operates the car park on behalf of the store has denied this, saying it allows disabled drivers extra time to shop at the Co-op, and on this occasion has waived the fine.

The woman, who does not wish to be named, had parked for two hours but when she returned home, she found she had been fined, even though, as a disabled driver, she can park for three hours.

When she contacted ParkingEye, she was very unhappy with the company's response.

She said: "I was told to send them a photocopy of my blue badge to avoid the fine.

"Since I have already had one blue badge stolen, I did not feel happy about sending off a copy.

"I asked them if they could call the DVLA to confirm that the car was registered as a disability car but I was told they cannot access that information."

After several phone calls to the company, she said they allowed her to give them the serial number of her blue badge.

She said: "I am aware that there has been abuse of the car park in the past, but I feel strongly that the new rules make life very difficult for residents and are discriminating against disabled drivers by making them have to go through an unnecessary process, when no parking offence has been committed."

A spokesman for ParkingEye said it was following industry standards and needed to receive proof that a driver was disabled, with a copy of their blue badge, as it cannot have access to disabled information at DVLA.

He said: "When it comes to the parking time limit, the fact that disabled people can stay longer is not a requirement but ParkingEye have added it because they thought it was important to give disabled people more time to do their shopping.

"When a fine is incurred, we have to ask for the blue badge, that is the law.

"We are trying to prevent abuse of the car park, where some people park overnight, when it is for shoppers at the Co-op.

"We have tried to put a system in place to help everyone.


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