Disabled people using Eastbourne station car park have spoken out after receiving £100 fines despite displaying a Blue Badge.
Kim Comach says she is ‘livid’ to be among those caught out by a new system which means anyone using disabled bays needs to register their vehicle and then notify the company every time they park there.
The 66-year-old said, “I don’t see why I would be served a parking notice in an allocated space with a badge displayed, it’s ridiculous.
“I’m so cross about this. I don’t feel I should have to appeal it. I’m livid about it.”
Ms Comach says she parked in a disabled bay on September 11, displaying her blue badge.
Two weeks ago she said she received a notice from contractor Indigo asking for £100. She says she has been told to pay or appeal.
While Mary Aylward, of Wordsworth Drive, says she has received seven letters after parking in a disabled bay, displaying a blue badge, on September 4 and 11.
“It’s a nightmare. I haven’t parked there since. It’s frightening to think if you don’t do it correctly you’ll be fined.
“I was inundated with letters but had nothing acknowledging my appeals. It’s absolutely disgraceful.”
She said the signs are not in plain view and when she asked railway station staff for advice no one knew about the new system.
The 68-year-old, who suffered a stroke and is having an operation next week, said, “All these things add to the stress, it really doesn’t help.
“You feel like you have been threatened, it’s not very nice. If I’d parked illegally, fine, but it’s not even been explained properly.”
She says she has tried to get through to the contractor to no avail.
And Norman Rogers, 85, says he received two penalty notices for £100 after parking in the car park with his disabled wife Audrey, 84, and displaying her blue badge, on September 3 and 8.
He says he has used the car park for years and never had a problem, and called the new system ridiculous.
“There’s very vulnerable people,” he said, “Are you expecting them to be able to get the idea what this is about straight away?
“My wife is disabled and has been for some time and we always used the parking there.
“Now you have to phone up the day you are going to park there. That’s ridiculous.”
Now he does not use the car park and says this has caused upset because it means they can’t visit the town centre.
A spokesperson for GTR, which owns the land, said, “We have had signs in place for the past 12 months advising Blue Badge holders they need to register their vehicle number with Connect Cashless Parking, and then notify the cashless payment service or our contractor Indigo’s customer services team each time they park.”
If the badge holder has not been registered, the spokesperson said, the system sends out an automatic penalty notice.
They continued, “We appreciate any new system takes some getting used to, and we are sorry some Blue Badge holders have been inconvenienced, but we can assure all Blue Badge holders that if they do receive a penalty notice it will be cancelled if they appeal it.”