A disabled 80-year-old who can only move at a ‘snail’s pace’ has been punished with a £100 parking ticket for taking too long to shop at The Range.
Grandmother Iris King spent just over two hours looking round her favourite shop, having a cup of tea and visiting the loo.
But when she and her daughter Amanda returned to the car, they found a ticket from private contractors ParkingEye – despite the fact that they were in a disabled bay, displaying a blue badge.
“ParkingEye say we were in the car park for two hours and 20 minutes, and the time limit is two hours,” said Amanda.
“I was shocked they could be so unsympathetic . How do they expect someone as disabled as my mum to get round a shop that big within two hours?”
Amanda said: “Mum’s large size andweight means she moves at a snail’s pace, even with her scooter. Just getting her in the car takes 15 minutes.
“Mum has COPD so gets out of breath. She also takes tablets for water retention, which means she has to visit the toilet regularly – as she did in The Range.”
Iris goes to The Range three times a year and spends up to £100 each time, said Amanda.
The family appealed the ParkingEye ticket and even offered a GP’s letter. But their plea was refused - and the fine was upped to £100.
The Citizen tried to reason with ParkingEye but the company would not budge. A spokesman said: “We always encourage motorists to appeal if there are mitigating circumstances, and instructions about how to do this are detailed on all communication and on our website.
“In this instance, the motorist failed to provide evidence that they were a genuine customer or a Blue Badge holder, and ParkingEye rejected the appeal due to a lack of evidence. The motorist chose to take their appeal to POPLA, who found in ParkingEye’s favour.”
However when the Citizen appealed to The Range, it agreed to lift the fine immediately.
A spokesman said: “We employ Parking Eye to monitor our car parks to ensure that our customers are able to find parking spaces easily and prevent others from using our car park when they are not visiting the store.”
She added: “ If a customer stays for longer than two hours whilst shopping at The Range they simply need to speak to store staff and show proof of purchase and we can waive any potential parking fine.”