A TAXI driver who received a parking fine while helping a vulnerable elderly customer has branded Wiltshire Council “disgusting”.

Ian Gray, who works for Value Cars received the ticket while taking an elderly woman to the city centre on August 30.

The passenger told Ian she wanted to go to Natwest, in Blue Boar Row, but there were no places to pull up, so Ian drove round the corner and parked in a loading bay in Endless Street.

He helped the customer into the bank and, upon returning to his taxi, found a traffic warden photographing his vehicle.

Ian said the warden told him there was nothing he could do, as he’d already printed the ticket, and told him to contact Wiltshire Council.

He wrote to the council to explain the situation and said: “I have been a taxi driver for ten years now and I have done full NVQ training and BTEC training on passenger transport on the safety of passengers and their wellbeing.

“I have also done Wiltshire Council safeguarding training for the elderly, and vulnerable people.

“At the end of the day I was doing my job as I have been trained to do, and it was the safest place to go.”

But the council said there were “no grounds” for cancelling the fine.

A member of the council’s parking services team wrote back: “Your vehicle was parked in a loading place during restricted hours.

“Although I can appreciate you were assisting a customer you are not permitted to park in a loading bay without loading or unloading.” The council said loading “does not include allowed passengers to board or alight or escorting passengers to nearby premises”.

Ian told the Journal it was “disgusting” that “£35 is more important to them than me looking after a vulnerable elderly lady”.

A spokesman for Wiltshire Council said: "“Although we do understand the gentleman was helping his customer, the vehicle was parked where clear loading restrictions are present. Parking in loading bays can cause real congestion issues in busy cities such as Salisbury when vehicles delivering to businesses are unable to park.”

“We would always encourage people to park in the appropriate area.”