Pensioner highlights retail parking issue

Disable PArking Bay at Meadowhall Shopping Centre Sheffield
Disable PArking Bay at Meadowhall Shopping Centre Sheffield
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Agnes Getten had no hope to getting her money back for a parking ticket when she contacted the Action Desk.

But the 74-year-old wanted people to be aware about the actions of the parking company operating at Meadowhall.

The grandmother received a ticket when her car was parked in a disabled bay during a shopping trip with her daughter.

The pair returned to her car where she found her badge on the floor in the footwell – and a parking ticket.

Agnes, from Parson Cross, said: “That day I was having trouble with my legs and I was in so much pain. My daughter was driving.

“I got out of my car and then realised that I had left my mobile phone on the dash board, so I knelt on the passenger seat to get it.

“I think I must have caught the badge with my sleeve when I reached over because I returned to find it on the floor.”

The ticket said she must pay £95 for failing to display a valid disabled badge.

Panicking she paid the reduced £57 in fear that her appeal to the parking company, Parking Control Management, will not be dealt with within 14 days and then she would be liable to pay the full amount.

Her appeal was swiftly rejected by the company, who stated that it did not accept blue badges or copies of them at a later date. But she did not rest there. She called the company and was told that she could reappeal. So she did.

That was the last contact she had from Parking Control Management so she turned to the Action Desk for help.

“We wouldn’t have parked in the disabled bay if I didn’t have a badge. It was about lunchtime and there were plenty of empty parking spaces,” she said. “I live on my pension and couldn’t afford to pay the £95. I could barely afford the £57.”

ACTION

Action Desk contacted bosses at Meadowhall who arranged to have a meeting with Mrs Getten. A few days later she called The Star to say she had received a cheque from them.

“Thank you very much for the effort you put it. I got a cheque back today!” she said.

A Meadowhall spokesman said: “Meadowhall Shopping Centre is proud to offer thousands of free car parking spaces to our customers, helping to ensure a positive overall shopping experience for all.

“Our parking management system was introduced to support and protect shoppers who have particular parking requirements. The PCM team that is in place to oversee this, work to ensure a fair and consistent system.

“Any parking tickets that are disputed by drivers are subject to a formal appeal process. Having worked through an official appeal procedure with Mrs Getten we have agreed to waive her fine, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her co-operation.

“We remain committed to ensuring that the parking regulations at Meadowhall remain fair and consistent and that they are respected and regarded by all shoppers.”