Couple who wrongly parked in a disabled space in Northampton win battle against ticket

Mark Irwing
Mark Irwing

A couple, who wrongly parked in a disabled person’s parking space in Abington Street without displaying a valid badge, have overturned their fine.

Mark and Lesley Irwing were on their way to a ukulele lesson at St Giles music centre on when they were issued with a penalty notice charge on Abington Street.

The bay in which Mrs Irwing parked was the last space in the line of bays she says there did not appear to be any signs or markings immediately adjacent to it.

Mrs Irwing said: “The signage for the bay was inadequate, in particular, because parking restrictions do not apply elsewhere in Northampton after 6pm, there was no signage at the bay itself and no carriageway markings.

“The signs which were present were very small and should have included the words ‘at any time’.”

The adjudicator leading the tribunal last month finally cancelled the penalty charge notice as he was not convinced the photographs taken by the warden proved the case.

Mr Irwing told the Chronicle and Echo that it never occurred to him at 8pm to check the parking sign.

He said: “Whenever we’ve been up there, there have only ever been one or two cars parked.

“There was a tiny, ordinary sign, nothing on the ground to say that there were disabled parking bays. There is a need for disabled signs in every bay.”

The couple appealed twice to Northamptonshire County Council in the last five months, before taking the claim to a tribunal.

A County Hall spokesman said motorists who had been ticketed in similar circumstances should not get their hopes up.

He said: “The signage in the parking bays in Abington Street, Northampton, complies with legislation and this was recognised by the parking adjudicator.

“The adjudicator found in favour of the appellant for reasons specific to this particular case, rather than there being a general issue with the signage. It was also noted that the omission of the ‘Disabled’ legend was also appropriate.

“The adjudicator said that in this case, from the specific photographic evidence presented, he could not clearly conclude whether adequate information had been provided.

“The county council has taken the comments on board in respect of the photographic evidence taken at the time a Penalty Charge Notice was issued and will ensure that more detailed evidence is provided as part of each case in the future. The county council has accepted the decision made which is binding on both parties.”

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