Bike crash not enough to waive parking ticket for Northampton woman

A Northampton woman, who couldn't pay her parking fine because she was injured in a motorcycle accident, has slammed the County Council 'cold' and 'unfeeling.'

Thursday, 24th November 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 10:27 am
Jenny Locke

Jenny Locke of Billing Road was involved in a serious motorbike accident the day before the discounted date expired on her Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) back in May.

As a result of the incident, the biker broke her left shoulder, dislocated her big toe and sustained severe bruising to her back and left hip, which left her feeling traumatised.

Speaking to the Chronicle & Echo the nurse, who has had to stop working at Berrywood hospital due to her injuries, said: “I have asked the council to consider these mitigating circumstances, thus far they have refused. All responses have been cold and unfeeling. I had a telephone conversation with someone from the parking service where the person left me in tears.

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“I was concerned about how I am going to pay the fine when my pay had been cut dramatically and was asking for a possible extension of time to be able to do this, or to pay in instalments whilst waiting for benefit payments to start.

“I was just told ‘no’ this wasn’t possible, that basically, it didn’t matter about my accident, they are not a credit agency and if I didn’t pay the amount, it would increase by 50 percent and if I continued to not pay I would be taken to court.

“I do not understand why the council have been so unkind and unfeeling since my accident. I have never even so much as had a speeding ticket, I have never been in trouble with the police. I am a nurse so this is really important to me.”

It is understood that Miss Locke was issued the PCN back in April as she parked her Vespa motorcycle on St Giles Street for longer than the permitted time.

Miss Locke told the Chron that she was initially going to pay the £25 discount rate “just to get the thing over and done with” but does not admit liability.

Due to missing the discounted payment date, Miss Locke now has to pay £50.

She added: “I have been worrying presently how I will be able to pay £50 when I was willing to pay the £25 to get the process over and done with. The whole thing has added to my stress levels when I should be concentrating on my current extensive health needs.”

A Northamptonshire County Council spokesman said: “Anyone who has received a parking ticket is entitled to appeal and this is considered by an experienced Parking Investigation Officer who is employed by the council. If this appeal is rejected, drivers then have the right to appeal to a parking adjudicator, who is independent of the council.

“In this case, both the Parking Investigation Officer and the independent adjudicator upheld the penalty notice charge and therefore the full fine amount is payable.”

Miss Locke will be taking further legal action as she claims that the signage was not clear on St Giles Street and will be seeking advice on the “emotional distress” she has encountered.