Readers’ emails: Blue badge holders exempt from payment?
Subject: Disabled Parking / Excel Parking
I’ve received a parking charge notice from Excel for parking without a ticket, even though I was displaying my Blue Badge, and was parked in a designated Disabled Bay.
I understood that Disabled Parking was exempt from charges.
What would you suggest I do? I’m on long term sick, and the charge they are proposing equates to nearly a full week’s money! Plus, since the notice was issued, I have had a further operation and will be housebound for at least the next six to eight week.
I’d really appreciate any guidance you may be able to issue please.
Many thanks in anticipation,
Unfortunately, blue badge exemptions are only applicable to public land (e.g. council car parks or on-street parking). On private land, which I assume this is, it is up to the land owner to decide whether to charge or not. In this case it seems they do charge, and as such you’ve been issued a parking charge for not paying.
My advice would be to do two things. Firstly contact the land owner, explain your mistake, and offer to pay the normal parking fee (£1 or whatever the fee was, and ask them to cancel the charge). Please note, the land owner will probably not be Excel; they merely ‘manage’ the car park. The land owner will almost certainly have the power to cancel the charge, but you will need to be persistent with them. Excel, and parking companies like them, ‘manage’ these car parks purely to drive revenue from issuing tickets; they rarely back down.
Secondly, you can appeal the charge. Excel are members of the BPA, so they have to offer an independent appeal to you. Have a read of my appeal guide to understand more. When you get to the POPLA stage, you will be able to claim that the charge was not a genuine pre-estimate of loss. Their loss was a few pounds at most, not the £100 or so they’re demanding. This argument is almost always upheld in the motorists favour.
Finally, do your research on both my site and on some of the online forums. See how others are handling similar tickets with Excel and in similar situations. There’s a lot of help out there, so you shouldn’t need to pay it.
Best of luck.