A disabled driver has vented his anger after he was given a £100 parking fine while getting his Covid-19 vaccination in Gloucestershire.
Blue badge holder Rex Butland, 75, got his first jab at Cheltenham East Community Fire Station 15 January.
The pensioner said he was under the impression that disabled badge holders did not have to pay for parking at the nearby Sandford Parks Lido as he “never had to before”.
But he ended up with a £100 Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).
Mr Butland said: “As a registered disabled person and blue badge holder, my immobility issues necessitated parking as close as possible, however, all roads surrounding the property had yellow cones strategically placed prohibiting any kerbside car parking.
“I was therefore presented with no option other than to find a suitable space elsewhere, close to the centre but also within safe walking distance.”
Mr Butland continued: “The nearest available car parking space allocated to blue badge holders, that I was aware of is located in the privately owned Lido car park.
“l have used the swimming pool and car park, allocated for blue badge holders use, regularly for a number of years prior to introduction of the recent lockdown periods.
“I have never had to pay for its use and, as the Lido gates were closed, l was unable to find any Lido staff member to clarify disabled car parking usage.
“So I parked my car in the usual blue badge holder’s space then negotiated the tiresome walk to the centre.”
But five days later Mr Butland received a PCN of £100 from Parking Eye.
Julie Sargent, chief executive of Sandford Parks Lido said: “The decision to introduce a parking fee for blue badge holders was made pre-Covid at the point we had to stop using the council run car park manual monitoring process.
“We looked at many companies and systems to take over this vital aspect of our operation and ANPR was the best option for our self-financing charity.
“Unfortunately, it is impossible for this system to automatically differentiate blue badge holders.
“Since introducing this change we have installed 20 signs which inform the visitor that tariffs apply for blue badge holders.
“I’m really sorry that this man didn’t see the signs and as a consequence feels let down by the system.”