Disabled pensioner hit with parking fine while trying to renew Blue Badge at South Shields Town Hall

A pensioner is feeling blue after ending up with a parking fine - when she went for help to renew her disabled badge.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 02 November, 2018, 05:00
Mary Thompson with her parking ticket and blue badge. Picture by Jane Coltman

Mary Thompson’s blue badge - which she uses for herself and her disabled son - expired in August, but the 85-year-old from Harton Village, South Shields, didn’t realise the three-year validity period had run out until she received a parking fine on October 8.

She then tried to visit the Star Centre in Hebburn - where Blue Badges had previously been renewed until it relocated in July.

Mary Thompson was seeking advice at South Shields Town Hall

On Tuesday she took her renewal forms to South Shields Town Hall to seek help - but received another parking fine on her way out as she had parked without a valid badge in Broughton Street.

She said: “I am so upset by all of this. The blue badges last for three years, but I received no reminders it was running out.

“I’ve had such a lot on, especially with my son’s medical appointments, time just went by.

“Then I realised the Star Centre was closed. I don’t have online access and needed forms sent out.

“I can’t be the only older person who has forgotten.”

It’s not the first time Mrs Thompson has ended up with car parking fines.

In April 2016 she had a £70 bill – which was later quashed – due to parking on a yellow line when she went to South Tyneside District Hospital to pick her poorly son up.

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Mrs Thompson says she left the traffic warden a note when she parked her car on Tuesday.

She said: “In my note I explained how I was waiting for my new badge but they took no notice and when I came out there was the parking ticket on my car.

“I feel like the disabled are being persecuted. Everything is so hard these days.”

Mrs Thompson is still waiting for her new badge to arrive.

A council spokeswoman said the Blue Badge system is a national scheme with strict rules around its enforcement.

He said: “Those who receive a penalty charge notice can appeal using the details provided on the back of the ticket.

“We would like to remind blue badge holders that it is their responsibility to renew their badge in advance of the renewal date.

“The Department for Transport notifies holders that their badge is due to expire around six weeks beforehand.”

For further information, visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/bluebadge.