A disabled driver who was ticketed for using a council run car park in Skegness fears more motorists will be stung by the new enforcement unless it is better advertised.
East Lindsey District Council began charging disabled people for using its car parks on Wednesday, May 1 as part of a raft of measures designed to save the council £400,000 a year.
Although the new charges were advertised in newspapers, social media and car park notice boards, Chapel St Leonards resident Susan Hill, claims she and many others were left unaware.
“I don’t buy the newspaper very often and when you’re going about your business the same way as you have always done, you don’t suddenly think ‘oh I better go and see if they have changed the law’,” she said.
“I think they could have gone about it a different way by putting notices on the windscreens of disabled people’s cars to warn them the first time.”
The 62-year-old, who was registered disabled around two years ago with severe back pain, had parked in the Lawn Car Park behind the Hildreds Centre on Monday.
She and a friend, Audrey Stokes, who is also disabled, went shopping in Skegness as they regularly do, but on their return were shocked to find a £50 penalty notice for failing to pay and display.
Susan appealed the ticket, claiming she was unaware of the changes in enforcement.
But the council refused the appeal and were said to be ‘very rude’ when dealing with her complaint.
The former Sheffield resident says she does not object to paying to park, now she knows it is required. However the £50 ticket cost, even when reduced to £25 for quick payment, will trouble her financially.
“It’s half of my weekly grocery shop,” she said.
Duncan Hollingworth, who is responsible for the council’s car parks, said: “Before introducing the changes we actively promoted the new arrangements through formal notices in the local press and information on the council’s website and social media channels.
“We have also ensured there is signage in the car parks themselves informing the public of the changes to try and prevent motorists from being fined.