Driver slams ‘ageist’ council over Chadwell Heath parking ticket

A retired 64-year-old feels she is being discriminated against for not having a mobile phone after an expensive trip to the dentist.

Pat Long, of Harold Wood, parked in Redbridge Council’s Wangey Road car park, Chadwell Heath, on her way to an appointment at Chadwell Dental Care, High Road.

But her 20-minute stay on January 24 ended up costing her �30 as she was unable to use the single pay and display ticket machine which was broken.

And Mrs Long does not have a mobile phone so she could not use the council’s RingGo payment system.

The former finance worker left a note explaining the machine was not working and the 70p charge on the dashboard of her Citroen Pluriel before going for her appointment.

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She said: “What I was showing was that I had the money.

“Twenty minutes later I had a parking ticket.”

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After writing a letter of complaint, she has paid the fine because if she appealed, she would have to pay �60 in total because a discounted rate would no longer apply.

Mrs Long said: “I feel I’m being discriminated against because I haven’t got a mobile.

“I feel as an OAP they’re penalising me, they’re being ageist because they’re saying, ‘why don’t you have a mobile phone?’

“Why don’t they do like Havering Council does and have two machines, so when one isn’t working, the other is?”

The council introduced its phone parking system in November 2009 for customers unable to purchase a pay and display ticket and a spokesman said some busier car parks have more than one machine.

She said: “We regularly inspect the pay and display machines in car parks and undertake any necessary repairs as soon as we are aware of the problem.

“Consequently it is generally available for the motorist to use. We regret any inconvenience to customers who are not able to use this method of paying.”

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