Woman taking her 86-year old mother for Covid jab handed parking fine despite blue badge

Birmingham resident helps NHS staff with parking charges

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An NHS worker hit out at a parking firm as he claimed his wife was wrongly fined during a stop to take her elderly mum for a Covid-19 vaccination. The issue occurred at the end of last month, when the man’s wife took her 86-year-old mother to receive her latest jab at Moor Park Health & Leisure Centre in Blackpool.

Peter Mowbray believes that Parkingeye wrongly issued a penalty fine in the first place and was further frustrated by an appeal process which he fears is designed to be so difficult as to stop people objecting.

Due to her age and health issues including a recent stroke, his mother-in-law Sheila is considered high risk if she were to contract the virus.

Mr Mowbray said the women have no doubt that they entered the registration details and displayed the blue badge – the two requirements to allow them to park in the disabled bays.

A penalty notice showed they were in the car park for just 32 minutes but despite believing they had done everything they should they soon received notice of a £70 fine, “discounted” to £40 if paid by May 19.

Mr Mowbray said: “There’s a similar registration system at our gymnasium and we do that every time so it’s a situation that we’re used to.

“When we go to the pictures, we enter our car registration too. There’s signs on the way in so you can’t miss them unless you’re not paying attention.”

He said: “My wife is very meticulous, she works in education, she is very good with detail.”

Although Parkingeye have since agreed to cancel the fine as a gesture of good will, Mr Mowbray remains frustrated with an appeals process which he fears is designed to discourage people from fighting against fines.

He said: “Parkingeye will only accept appeals in writing in English, but will accept payments on the phone in various languages.

“My opinion is they are preying on the vulnerable hoping that they can’t write and appeal for various reasons.”

Mr Mowbray, who works as senior operational practitioner in anaesthesia at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, said he has since heard from other people who have experienced similar problems with parking fines being issued while they took elderly relatives for vaccine appointments.

He added: “They’re making it very difficult for people. We’re lucky that we have reasonably paying jobs but for some people £70 is more they can afford, especially when it’s for something that isn’t correct.”

He continued: “All we want from this is for people to be aware of the situation and for Parkingeye to treat people with more respect.

“They make it very difficult for people to appeal the fines. “They’re not doing what they can to help people when surely they should be.

“I’ve been working nights so I’ve not seen my wife properly the last few days.

“We finally got to spend some time together on Saturday afternoon and my wife spent it writing an appeal letter to Parkingeye and then we had over an hour discussing it with various people who said ‘it’s not my job, it’s nothing to do with me’.”

A spokesperson for Parkingeye said: “The car park at the Moor Park Health and Leisure Centre in Blackpool is monitored by ANPR camera systems and has 21 prominent and highly-visible signs in the Blue Badge and Drop Off area that give motorists clear guidance on how to use the car park responsibly.

“The motorist parked in the Blue Badge and Drop Off car park however they did not select the Blue Badge holder button when registering their details in the user-friendly terminal within the centre reception area.

“As a result of this error, they received a Parking Charge Notice, however following a review of the case we have cancelled as a gesture of goodwill.

“Parkingeye operates a BPA (British Parking Association) audited appeals process, which motorists can use to appeal their Parking Charge Notice.

“If anyone has mitigating circumstances, we would encourage them to highlight this by appealing to Parkingeye.

“All motorists are also entitled to a further appeal via POPLA, the independent body which reviews all cases.”

express.co.uk reached out to the company for any further comment. 

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