I have every sympathy for Mr Hall of Monmouth, reported in the Ross Gazette as having received a ticket for parking in an unloading bay in Broad Street using a Blue Badge. Regardless of the mistake he made, as a fellow Blue Badge user it is frustrating frequently to see unloading lorries parking in Disabled Bays, as I did only this morning in Ross, without any apparent penalty. It is a frequent occurrence.

Paul Dodd, Bramley

Last week the Gazette reported:

Monmouth resident Mr WR Hall, has voiced his concerns to the Gazette over a parking penalty he received in Broad Street, Ross-on-Wye (July 12).

Mr Hall detailed the events leading to the penalty in a letter to Herefordshire Council’s Parking Appeals and Representations. He explained that he had briefly parked in Broad Street to allow his 84-year-old wife to collect prescribed medication from Superdrug. Given her mobility issues, he felt it was essential to park as close as possible. He displayed her Blue Badge on the dashboard and was soon approached by Civil Enforcement Officer 63 (CEO), who issued a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). The reason given was that he had parked in an unloading bay.

Mr Hall argued that the loading bay’s weathered lettering was obscured by another vehicle when he parked. Additionally, he mentioned that a nearby sign detailing parking restrictions was too high and obscured by the car’s roof from his seated position. Despite these explanations and the visible Blue Badge, the PCN was not rescinded.

In a response dated 19th July 2023, the Economy & Environment department of Herefordshire Council upheld the penalty. They pointed out that while Mr Hall mentioned the obscured road markings, there was a clear post-mounted sign indicating the parking restrictions. The letter emphasized that it’s the driver’s responsibility to be aware of parking restrictions.

The council’s letter also provided Mr Hall with options for paying the penalty, which was set at a discounted amount of £35.00 if paid within 14 days. However, it also mentioned that no further informal correspondence would be entertained on the matter. If Mr Hall wished to pursue the issue, he would need to allow the penalty to revert to its full amount and then appeal formally.