Disabled man fined £100 after mobility vehicle breaks down at Newbury Park retail park
PUBLISHED: 07:18 29 August 2019 | UPDATED: 07:18 29 August 2019
A disabled man from Redbridge has been fined £100 after his mobility vehicle broke down, leaving him stranded and stuck in his car in a Newbury Park retail park for more than two hours.
Stephen Sklayne, 58, was visiting Pets at Home, in Horns Road, in June to return a fish he had bought earlier which had died.
He was in the shop for five minutes, but when he got in his mobility car to leave, which allows him to drive in his wheelchair using hand controls, the ramp failed to close.
He pressed the emergency button in his car which dials directly to the RAC, but it took more than two-and-a-half hours for them to arrive, meaning he overstayed the car park's free parking limit.
The car park, which is managed by Premier Parking, a company based in Exeter, has a two hour time limit and despite Stephen's mitigating circumstances, he received a £100 parking fine the next day.
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He appealed the fine, stating that his car had broken down, and provided the RAC report as evidence to explain why he was left sitting there.
"They rejected the appeal, saying that I had deliberately parked there and exceeded the time or I should have left the car park earlier and waited elsewhere," he said. "They basically said I overstayed my welcome."
Premier Parking gave Stephen the option to appeal to Popla, which deals with parking appeals on private land, or "just pay" £30.
"Popla rejected the appeal saying that while I have extensive mitigating circumstances, they can only interfere if the ticket was incorrectly issued, which technically had been issued correctly," Stephen said.
"It is not about the money, as Motability have given me the money to pay the ticket.
"It is the principle and the fact I am disabled. If you break down, and can prove that mitigating circumstances must be taken into account, especially if you are in a wheelchair, and stuck in the vehicle, then this shouldn't happen."
Premier Parking could not be reached for comment.