MP backs blue badge holders slammed with Â£100 fines at Northampton car park
A Northampton MP is throwing his weight behind the dozens of elderly and disabledÂ people hit by Â£100 fines at a Northampton car park because of dubious signage.
Yesterday, the Chron revealed some 50 blue badge holders had received penalties for using the disabled bays in the upper section of St Peter's Way car park - not knowing that they were no longer entitled to it for free.
One couple even revealed their overnight use of the Pure Gym had resulted in them receiving 19 separate fines.
Nearly all of the people slapped with extortionate fines by the new car park managers NCP are elderly, disabled, or both and say the signs at the car park are so poor, they had no idea new charges had been introduced.
Northampton North MP Michael Ellis now says he has written to the chief executive of NCP to demand his constituents' appeals are upheld.
He said: "I find this outrageous.
"It is obvious from the number of people fined that the signage is insufficient. I would expect to see, in the circumstances, NCP cancelling these penalties.
"I expect to hear from the chief executive in return in response to my letter. and then they should get on and do the right thing."
The fines can be reduced to Â£60 if paid within a fortnight.
But Lindsey Websdale, the founder of the St Peters Car Park Blue Badges Fines Facebook page - says she has been in contact with at least 50 people fined in recent days - all of whom, she says, will take their charges to appeal.
She is now seeking a solicitor to take on all the cases ‘en masse’.
Lindsey, 42, of Weedon and an osteoarthritis sufferer, was slapped with a fine for using the disabled bays on September 18.
“If that’s 50 people who have all been fined Â£100, that’s Â£5,000 worth of fines they have handed out at least,” she said.
“Every single one of these people is a blue badge holder.”
Lindsey is also set to email the head office of NCP to contest the charges.
NCP says the small warnings to blue badge holders on display at St Peters are ‘adequate’ - but said anyone affected can appeal.
A spokeswoman said: “We do understand that historically the car park was run by the council who did not charge disabled motorists, but the terms and conditions of the car park now states that disabled motorists are welcome to park in dedicated disabled bays in the most accessible area of the car park as long as they display a blue badge and have paid for their parking.
“All customers are welcome to appeal a PCN (parking ticket) and NCP reviews each appeal on a case by case basis.
“If the customer is unhappy following the NCP appeal process then they are also able to go to the independent appeals process POPLA for a totally independent review that can overturn any NCP decision and that we will stand by.”