RAF veteran at war with Redbridge Council over parking fine that could land him in court

Reg Wilson

Reg Wilson - Credit: Archant

A 90-year-old veteran is at war with the council after a simple mistake means he could be in court for briefly not displaying his disabled parking badge.

Former RAF navigator Reg Wilson, of Lechmere Avenue, Chigwell, was with his partially blind wife when he realised that he had not displayed the badge.

He went back to his car parked in Hobart Road, Barkingside, to show it to the warden and put it inside on display, but the parking officer said it was too late and the ticket had already been issued.

Mr Wilson wrote to Redbridge Council to explain about the mistake, but it said he still had to pay the fine.

His daughter Janet Hughes also wrote to them but her request was rejected.

Mrs Hughes said: “He’s not very nimble and my mother’s blind in one eye. He parked in the disabled space and walked away. He then legged it back – well as fast as a 90-year-old can.”

She said that despite numerous letters to the council explaining the situation it has now issued a final demand for payment. It says if he does not pay it they will take him to court all because he didn’t display his badge for a few minutes,” Mrs Hughes said. “I cannot believe that public money is being spent like this. He could afford to pay it but that’s not the point.”

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Mrs Hughes said that her father fought during World War Two in Bomber Command and is used to standing up for what he believes in.

“He fought for this country,” she said. “He would always fight back but he’s now at the point of caving in. He was involved in a battle that saved this country from Nazi takeover.”

A spokesman for Redbridge Council said: “If we were to cancel a correctly issued ticket such as this one, then we open the gates for others who may take advantage of such a decision.

“For instance other motorists that claim they momentarily forgot to pay for their parking, or those who forget to display a parking ticket they have purchased may also ask for cancellations of tickets.

“The council needs to ensure that the same rules apply to everybody.”