Chichester District Council called ‘heartless’ over refusal to overturn parking fine

A woman who was issued with a parking ticket over an expired Blue Badge in Chichester has called the district council ‘cold and callous’.

Disabled parking bays in North Street, Chichester, and (inset) Nicola and her mother
Disabled parking bays in North Street, Chichester, and (inset) Nicola and her mother

Nicola Antoni explained how her mother’s Blue Badge had been renewed, but had an accident and was hospitalised before she could switch the new ticket – which had a delayed start date.

This meant months later, when Nicola had taken her mother into town, the pair used the expired badge and were issued with a parking fine. They sent the proof of the new badge to the council and explained the situation – only to be told it was not exceptional circumstances.

Mrs Antoni said: “My mother has a Blue Badge. It needed renewing and I did it in advance. It has a start date which was January 18. On January 7 she broke her hip and had to go to St Richard’s and then a convalescent home.

“We went to see her in April we took her out. We took her into Chichester to have lunch in Purchases. We had her Blue Badge in the car. When we came out there was a parking ticket on the car. We were parked in the disability bay but she had not brought the new badge – she had brought the old one.

“We wrote to the council with a copy of the new badge. But last week, three months later, they rejected it. They said it was not exceptional circumstances. It’s heartless. It seems in the current climate so cold and callous for them to say no.”

A spokesperson for Chichester District Council said: ‘The enforcement of parking restrictions on the highway is undertaken by Chichester District Council officers, on behalf of West Sussex County Council, who follow the Traffic Management Act and agreed policies. Unfortunately, we can’t discuss individual cases. However, our Parking Services team review all challenges against Penalty Charge Notices very carefully and we consider any evidence which is provided in line with the requirements.

“All customers have three opportunities to appeal a Penalty Charge Notice, with the third stage being an independent appeal through the Traffic Penalty Tribunal service.”