Disabled driver wins appeal over blue badge parking in Blandford
A DISABLED driver from North Dorset is urging the district council to improve its car park signage after winning his appeal against what he described as an unfair parking fine.
Mike Davis from Okeford Fitzpaine received a parking ticket when he left his Ford Mondeo parked in the Marsh and Ham car park in Blandford last June.
There were no disabled parking spaces available so Mr Davis, who has a back injury, parked in an unmarked space. He did not purchase a ticket but left his blue badge displayed on the dashboard.
An investigation by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal found in his favour, ruling that, although North Dorset District Councils signs stated that blue badges were valid in marked disabled bays, they did not clearly state that they could not be used in other bays.
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"I have been contesting this since the summer, and finally found out last week that I had won the case," Mr Davis said.
"I won't be chasing compensation but the council needs to rectify its signage so this doesn't happen again. I also hope that anyone who has received a ticket for the same thing approaches the district council for a refund."
Mr Davis said he was shocked to receive a fine from Dorset Parking Services for the incident on 26th June.
The notice stated that Mr Davis would be fined £50 for failing to display a valid parking ticket, voucher or clock. The fine would have been reduced to £25 if paid within 14 days but was eventually increased to £75 as payment was not made within 28 days.
Mr Davis said he refused to pay the fine because signs in the car park did not state that his blue badge was not valid in unmarked spaces.
A spokesman for North Dorset District Council said: "Anyone who is issued with a parking fine is entitled to take their case to appeal, which Mr Davis did.
"Parking enforcement is carried out by the County Council, who also keep the money, so we don't really have an issue with this.
"On the matter of the signs displayed in car parks, we take on board the ruling of the tribunal and will be looking at this in future.
"What we want to avoid is spending a large amount of money replacing a lot of signs which most people don't have a problem with.
"The other difficulty in relation to parking for blue badge holders is that different councils in the county approach this in different ways, some charge and some don't. It might be easier if we all did the same thing then there would be no confusion."