Disabled frail pensioner hits out at parking fine

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PARKING officials have rejected a plea to cancel a parking ticket by a frail 83-year-old woman who forgot to display her blue badge and time card in her windscreen.

Joan Graham, who lives on the edge of Rotherham town centre, drives into Sheffield and parks on Norfolk Street, near the Crucible Theatre, every Saturday morning to go shopping and meet friends.

But when she came to Sheffield on December 3, a friend was parking at the same time and she became distracted and forgot to put the badge inside the windscreen.

Mrs Graham, who is registered disabled, said: “I had already set the clock on the badge to 8.30am but I ended up putting it back in the pocket of the door rather than on display. When I returned to my car there was a ticket.

“I contacted the city council and said I was really sorry. I sent them a copy of my badge to prove I was disabled but on Christmas Eve I got a letter through saying the council had decided not to cancel the parking ticket because I had not shown my badge.

“Although the letter said photographs were attached of my car without the badge, none were enclosed.”

Mrs Graham added the letter gave her 14 days to pay a fine of £35 or it would increase to £60 – but it did not arrive until three days after it was sent on December 21 and there has also been the Christmas holiday, taking away six days of the 14 days in which to pay.

A Sheffield Council spokesman said: “Our Parking Services manager does not feel there is any new information that would change the decision made.

“Copies of the photographs omitted from the original letter have now been sent to Mrs Graham with an apology but they do clearly show her vehicle parked in a disabled badge bay without displaying a badge, including a close up picture of her windscreen.

“The letter was dated 21 December 2011 and it extended the discount period by 14 days from the date that the letter was received by Mrs Graham.

“On the assumption that the letter was received by December 23, she has until January 6, 2012 to make the discounted payment.”