Shoppers boycott town over parking ticket fury

Geoffrey Martin and Jean Martin pictured holding a copy of the valid parking ticket  (w110727-1b)
Geoffrey Martin and Jean Martin pictured holding a copy of the valid parking ticket (w110727-1b)

A DISABLED pensioner has vowed never to shop in Retford again after getting a parking fine.

Geoffrey Martin, who lives in Hillstown, Bolsover, has a blue disabled parking badge because he suffers with osteoarthritis.

On Friday 8th July he and wife Jean arrived for their weekly visit to Retford and parked in Chancery Lane car park.

The disabled bays were full, so Mr Martin parked in a normal bay and bought a ticket for 90p.

But returning to their car - with 20 minutes still remaining on the ticket - the couple found a penalty charge notice on the windscreen.

“The parking warden was still there so I asked him what I had done wrong,” said Mr Martin, 69.

“He explained that my ticket was displayed the wrong way up on the dashboard.”

“When I shut the door it must have blown face down.”

Mr Martin has since appealed against the £50 fine, explaining the circumstances, but the appeal was rejected.

A letter from Notts Parking Partnership - which controls council owned car parks across the county - said the fine would be halved to £25 if it was paid by 7th August.

Mr Martin said: “I am disgusted by what has happened.”

“I feel like I’ve been penalised for doing the right thing and buying a ticket.”

“I could have parked on double yellow lines but it is against my principles.”

Mr and Mrs Martin said they like shopping in Retford because it is nice and flat, and Geoffrey walks with a stick.

Mr Martin said: “The market in Retford is lovely and there are some nice little shops, but we will not be going there again.”

Jean, 65, added: “Our only crime is not checking the ticket before we left the car - surely some discretion could have been used.”

“I think we ought to be treated like human beings, not as a source of income.”

Notts Parking Partnership is responsible for parking enforcement on county roads and council-owned public car parks.

It is a partnership between the county council and district authorities, including Bassetlaw Council, which operates Chancery Lane car park.

A Notts County Council spokesman said it was the driver’s responsibility to ensure tickets were displayed correctly.

“They should take care to check this,” he said.

“The validity of incorrectly displayed tickets, such as those placed face down, cannot be verified.”

Bassetlaw Council said anyone parking in a normal bay needed to display a valid ticket, whether they are a blue badge holder or not.

Mr Martin can now appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal if he wishes to challenge the decision.

Between 2009 and 2010 just over 10,000 parking fines were issued in Bassetlaw.

3741 of these were challenged by drivers and more than a third of appeals were upheld.