Blue badge parking u-turn

DISABLED Blue Badge holders will no longer be penalised for parking in loading bays.

Wiltshire Council has accepted that the law does allow them to do so, and has ordered its wardens to stop issuing them with tickets.

Now the former cancer patient who made the council climb down says others like him who have been fined might have a claim for a refund.

Patrick Walters highlighted the issue when his wife was ticketed in Silver Street, Salisbury, late one Sunday afternoon in April last year.

He protested to a parking tribunal, which ruled last June that the law does exempt disabled people’s vehicles and told the council to cancel his fine.

Mr Walters, from East Harling, Norfolk, wrote to the Journal to say: “Since last July I’ve been trying to find out from Wiltshire Council’s parking department what their policy would be in future, but they refused to reply.

“I have finally heard from the head of local highways and car parking, Adrian Hampton, in Trowbridge that the council has now ceased issuing penalty notices to Blue Badge holders in loading bays. He also apologised for the parking team’s failure to reply to me.”

Mr Walters was told that the council would not be refunding fines issued in similar cases dating back to before his victory.

But he said: “I feel that any motorist who was penalised in a similar situation before that date would have a good case for claiming a refund.”

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “Parking restrictions are in place to help maintain access for emergency vehicles and ensure people can use Wiltshire's roads safely.

"Our civil enforcement officers do use common sense when dealing with these issues, however should someone wish to dispute their penalty charge notice there is a clear appeals process in place.”

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