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‘Rules there for a reason’, parking fine couple told

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 07, 2014

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AN elderly couple have been left feeling hard done by after returning from a short shopping trip to find they had been hit with a parking ticket.

Fred Butcher, who cares for his disabled wife Cynthia, left his car on double yellow lines with his blue badge displayed outside Argos, in Station Street, for around 10 minutes.

No parking is allowed in that area at any time, even for people with disabilities, as it is an unloading spot for lorries, but Mr Butcher, of Burton Road, Branston, argued that as he parked at 6pm and for only a short time, it was unlikely any deliveries would be made at that point.

Mr Butcher’s wife suffers from cerabella ataxia, which affects her balance, speech and limb movement and he added that there was very little traffic in the area at the time, so he did not anticipate causing any disruption.

But East Staffordshire Borough Council said there were no exceptions to the rules and the Butchers are now facing a fine of £70, or £35 if it is paid within 28 days.

Mr Butcher said: “The blue badge was clearly in the window and the hazard lights were on but when I came back 10 minutes later there was a parking ticket.

“There was no traffic, all the shops were closed; there was only one or two people in Argos.

“My wife is permanently disabled. I look after her 24 hours a day. She can’t go anywhere outside without her wheelchair.

“She can’t walk very far and she has a very difficult job getting around, so it puts us in a precarious position.”

The borough council said it stood by the decision to issue the fine.

A spokesman said: “Station Street has double yellow lines accompanied by double yellow dashes on the pavement, together with a sign stating: ‘no loading or unloading’ at any time.

“There is no exemption for blue badge holders for parking outside Argos.

“The Blue Badge Scheme contravention clearly states: badge holders may park on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours but in general not where there are restrictions on loading or unloading.”

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