Sunday, 29 Jan 2023

Pensioner ‘fined for not buying parking ticket as machine was blocked by debris’

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    A disabled pensioner has been hit with a £100 parking charge after falling to buy a 50p ticket for a 15-minute stay because the car park's pay machine was blocked by impenetrable debris.

    Bernard Armer, 69, was handed the fine for a 15-minute parking stay after he physically couldn't reach the ticket machine which was blocked by machinery and pallets.

    Bernard, who uses a walking stick, was unable to get close enough to pay and couldn't use the alternative method of using an app or phoning an automated phone line to pay as his phone doesn't have access to the internet.

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    The great-grandad-of-two said: “My phone is just an old Nokia, it’s for calls and texts, I don’t know how to use any of these fancy buttons."

    Weeks later, Bernard, from Leyland, Lancashire, received a letter in the post saying that because he didn't the 50p parking ticket, he needed to pay £60.

    Bernard has appealed the fine and explained the situation but Euro Car Park, who manage the machine, have declined his appeal and increased the fine to £100.

    He said: "I feel very anxious, I don’t need it at the moment. I wouldn’t have had all this trouble if the ticket machine was working.

    "I just want people that are older than me, if they’ve got tickets, to take them to court.

    "Old-age pensioners shouldn’t have to pay all this money, they haven’t got it. What are they supposed to do? It’s just hard work."

    Since he was fined on September 30, Bernard claims said that Euro Car Parks have put up clearer signage but have not moved the obstacles blocking the machine.

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    He said: "Three weeks later, they've put new signs up including a new one at the back. They honestly knew that the signs were not adequate enough for you to see.

    "That's why they do all of these tickets."

    Bernard suffers from arthritis, diabetes and alopecia and uses a walking stick, alongside caring for his 93-year-old dad.

    But his family friend Lorraine Symthies, 43, has said that his 'alopecia is getting worse' because of the stress of the fine.

    Lorraine said: “Bernard suffers from alopecia and is riddled with arthritis and diabetes, and when he gets stressed his fingernails start falling off.

    "So because of the stress of it all and the worry, his alopecia is getting worse."

    Euro Car Parks have been contacted for a comment.

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