Shropshire Council has wrongly issued parking tickets to disabled drivers parked in loading bays because of a discrepancy in how they interpret the law, it is claimed.
Earlier this year disabled driver Glyn Foulkes was given a penalty charge notice of £70 for parking in Castle Street loading bay, in Shrewsbury, while visiting the chemist to pick up urgent medication. His blue badge was clearly displayed after failing to find anywhere else to park.
Two internal appeals were refused by Shropshire Council stating page 20 of the Blue Badge scheme handbook, issued on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT), that disabled drivers could not park in loading bays.
However Glyn, who has motor neurone disease, disagreed with the judgement pointing out that Regulation 8 of the Local Authorities Traffic Orders Act confirmed that exemptions for disabled people can apply to parking in loading bays – for a period of up to three hours.
A case was prepared by Glyn to be heard before the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT) but Shropshire Council two weeks ago decided not to contest the appeal and an adjudicator cancelled the parking ticket.
Loxley Parker, acting on behalf of Mr Foulkes in the dispute, said: “Of course Shropshire Council’s decision to withdraw from the tribunal is an admission of guilt and all councils are doing it. They are illegally issuing PCN’s to disabled drivers and the trouble is that these people don’t know they are entitled to park in loading bays for up to three hours providing they have a blue badge displayed.”
A spokesperson for Shropshire Council said: “The council would not knowingly issue penalty charge notices illegally.
“In the case of Mr Foulkes, Shropshire Council did respond to the TPT to state that we would not be contesting the review based on the circumstances of that particular case. This withdrawal was not ‘an admission of guilt’ as has been suggested, rather the council recognised that different interpretations of the legislation have been taken by some Traffic Penalty Tribunals. In light of issues raised, Shropshire Council has raised concerns with the DfT on the different interpretations taken by some Traffic Penalty Tribunals.”
By David Seadon