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Disabled councillor and blue badge holder Andrew Jarvie lashes out at Highland Council over parking ticket

By Scott Maclennan

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Cllr Andrew Jarvie with letter he received following parking ticket after his blue badge slippped from view,. Picture Gary Anthony.
Cllr Andrew Jarvie with letter he received following parking ticket after his blue badge slippped from view,. Picture Gary Anthony.

The wheelchair user said he was parked in a disabled bay in Inverness’s Church Street but his blue badge slipped off his dashboard and he was issued with a parking ticket.

But when he provided proof that it was an accident, the local authority refused to budge and insisted he pay the fine.

That is something that worries Councillor Jarvie, who says that now more than ever, due to the cost of living crisis, many disabled people will be struggling to find cash to pay a fine that he says came with “intimidating” letters.

He said: “Just how more ridiculous can this council get? My blue badge slipped off my dash and landed on the floor, if they’d looked inside they would have seen it. But they won’t cancel the fine because their rules state the badge must be on the dashboard.

“I was unaware that my blue badge slipping off the dash has enabled me to walk and I no longer need to use a disabled space. Rather than cancel the fine because of a simple mistake, I’ve been lucky enough to be offered a reduction in the fine.

“Disabled people are entitled to park, it’s a necessity for most of us. But to hit disabled people, in the middle of a cost of living crisis, with unjust demands for payment is just cruel – now more than ever there are more people who cannot afford £60 out of the blue.

“How many other people in the same situation will give in to their intimidating letters and threats of court action? Unfairly paying for fines, because the council can’t accept that blue badges aren’t exempt from the laws of gravity.

“This isn’t the first time this council has acted in this way. I previously received a fine from the council for using an out-of-date badge – because they took three months to send me my new one.”

A council spokesman said: “It is not appropriate for us to comment on individual cases and peoples’ personal circumstances. The reasons for getting a penalty charge notice are indicated by the contravention code on the penalty charge notice letting people know why they received it. These can include: ‘Vehicle was parked in a disabled parking place without displaying a valid disabled blue badge.’

“Anyone who has challenged their parking ticket will receive a letter informing them if they have been successful, or still have to pay the fine. If they do not agree with the council’s decision they can appeal to the Parking and Bus Lane Tribunal Scotland. A parking adjudicator makes the final decision on appeals.”

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