Disabled drivers park fines anger

THE disabled drivers visiting a shopping centre are furious the car-park operator is charging them to use its disabled bays, writes Glenn McMahon. The disabled badge holders, who enjoyed free parking at Harlesden Plaza shopping centre, Harlesden, for yea

THE disabled drivers visiting a shopping centre are furious the car-park operator is charging them to use its disabled bays, writes Glenn McMahon.

The disabled badge holders, who enjoyed free parking at Harlesden Plaza shopping centre, Harlesden, for years were shocked to find �100 fines on their windscreens.

Complaints to the Times about the car-parking operator LCP's decision said there was no

fore-warning and the only sign explaining the April 1 change is not clear.


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Fischer Lueinga, who was shopping with his girlfriend, said: "I'm gutted. I didn't notice the sign up there. They should have signs at the front the bays. They're misleading us."

The only sign - which reads No concessions, disabled users must purchase a ticket - was hidden behind a van last Friday at the end of the row of disabled bays.

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Sarah Bowman, 41, of Harlesden Gardens, Harlesden, said: "They could have advertised it in the papers. Look how hidden the sign is. There's a van sitting in front of it. How are you meant to see it? It's ridiculous. That wasn't there yesterday."

The disabled badge holders said they would appeal against the fines. LCP said the change was 'to protect the disabled users interests' but claimed that no penalty fines were administered last Friday. When the Times offered photographic evidence to the contrary, the spokesman said: "I assure you, those penalties, if they were issued in the disabled bays, will be reviewed."

He said while there is no obligation to provide free parking, flyers were given out and notices put up, but drivers failed to read them.

He said: "I suspect the backlash is from people not liking change."

Don Williams, 87, of Bramston Road, Harlesden, said: "I got caught two weeks ago on Friday. I appealed against it. I don't think the sign was up there.

"We have to suffer enough trying to get about. They are just trying to make money. The sign should be in front of the bay.

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