Fined shopper’s parking anger
A DONCASTER woman was left furious after she was handed a £60 fine for parking in a disabled bay at a supermarket - even though she has a disabled badge.
But bosses at Sainbury’s have now pledged to scrap the fine, after the Free Press took up Elizabeth Tetley’s case.
Mrs Tetley, 59, of Church Balk Gardens, Edenthorpe, was fined after forgetting to bring out her disabled parking permit, when she parked in the bay at the Edenthorpe Sainsbury’s car-park.
She suffers from the debilitating spinal conditions scoliosis and spondylosis, and says she was only in the supermarket for a matter of minutes when she came out to find a parking officer writing her a ticket.
She had rushed out to the shops in a hurry because it had been snowing and she was concerned it would snow again.
“I tried to explain to the inspector that I’d left my badge at home and I was more than happy to drive home and get it,” she said.
“But he just told me it was too late for that and continued to write the ticket and drove away, leaving me with a huge fine,” she said.
Mrs Tetley went home to pick up her blue badge to prove she was entitled to use the disabled parking space and spoke to a manager in Sainsbury’s, who she says told her there was nothing they could do help her.
She is pleased that the firm is now scrapping the fine and welcomed the apology, but said the matter could have been resolved on the day if people had listened to her.
She said: “I think Sainsbury’s attitude is absolutely appalling. I spend at least £150 in the Thorne Road branch a week, which you think would make me a valued customer but I was offered no help, even when I explained my circumstances and why I had forgotten my blue badge.”
Blue badge-holders are required to clearly display their badge on their dashboard when using disabled concessions in blue badge guidelines issued by the Department of Transport. Parking and the issuing of fines in the store car park on Thorne Road is outsourced to Town and City Parking Ltd.
A spokesperson for the company said: “Our patrol officers are unable to cancel the tickets once issued on site. If Mrs Bennett writes to us providing the PCN number and a copy of her blue badge we will of course cancel the parking charge notice.”
A spokesperson from Sainsbury’s said: “We work very hard to ensure the disabled bays in our car parks are kept available for our customers with blue badges so they can shop with ease. On this occasion, the customer was fined for not displaying a blue badge in her car when parked in a disabled bay.
“We do, however, appreciate that sometimes customers have a valid reason for not complying with our policy and this is why there is an appropriate appeal procedure for customers to follow. This matter has now been resolved with Mrs Tetley and we have apologised for the inconvenience caused.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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