Swanley Resident and Retired Police Officer Fined for Parking Without Displaying Blue Badge in Free Car Park

Swanley Resident and Retired Police Officer Fined for Parking Without Displaying Blue Badge in Free Car Park

Swanley resident and retired police officer Michael Bibby is speaking out about what he calls an unfair fine he received for parking in a free car park without displaying his blue badge.

Bibby, who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease and dementia and relies on a wheelchair and walking frame, had visited the Bluewater Shopping Centre with his daughter, Charlotte Tiller, on February 29. While they parked in a disabled bay, they accidentally forgot to display their blue badge. Upon returning to their car, they discovered a fine of £95 from Parking Control Management UK Ltd (PCM).

Tiller, a swimming teacher, admits they made a mistake but felt it was unjust to be penalized in a free car park with over 13,000 spaces. She also points out the discrepancy that while you do not need to prove your right to park in a parent and child space at Bluewater, you do need to do so for a disabled bay.

Despite attempting to appeal the fine and even paying a reduced amount of £57, the family was unable to overturn the charge. The Independent Appeals Service refused their case as they had already paid the fine. Tiller also notes the stress and time it took to fight the fine, stating that her father feels guilty for the mistake.

A spokesperson for PCM defended their decision, stating that displaying a valid blue badge at the time of parking is necessary to protect accessible bays against misuse. They also cite the prevalence of fraudulent use of blue badges as a reason for not accepting retrospective evidence.

According to the Citizens Advice Bureau, blue badge holders are entitled to appeal if they have broken parking rules by mistake. The Equality Act 2010 states that disabled individuals must be treated with understanding and cannot be discriminated against. The website advises explaining any difficulties in understanding the parking rules, such as unclear signs or difficulty walking to read them.

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