Exactly 2 weeks ago, I went to see Suggs live at the Alban Arena and got to meet him before the show. In my blog, I wrote that the evening was ‘mostly’ enjoyable. This was because being Madness fans; my friend and I had a great night. However, our happiness was soon cut short when we got back to the car and found a parking ticket given for exceeding the time limit for Blue Badge holders on double yellow lines. I was deeply shocked and had numerous objections, not least that I’ve parked there for longer than 3 hours before because a traffic warden specifically told me it was acceptable in St. Albans.
I have since appealed the penalty but the council declined my challenge, not taking on board any of my points. I said that the ticket was given at 8:21pm which was ridiculous because firstly, what is a warden doing out at that time and secondly, the civic car park behind the Alban Arena is free after 6:30 (they had the cheek to tell me in the letter that it was 6;30 and not 6). So therefore, I thought that the parking restrictions ended in the evening, but apparently not. That reasonable argument is “irrelevant”.
Like I said, I wasn’t aware that disabled people can only park in civic close for three hours. Although it states this on the badge, it does not state where the rule applies because it varies in different areas. So I feel the council should put up signs to make it clear where the limit applies. We had to be at the Alban Arena by 5pm to watch the sound-check and meet a hero of mine, Suggs. Therefore we couldn’t get out to move the car until 10:30. 3 hours is simply not enough for a disabled person to go and see a show because I have to get there early in order to avoid the crowds and then leave later for the same reason.
Those are only my main points and the other reasons I gave as to why the ticket was unfair are listed in the Herts Ad article today. I have now paid the fine because I simply cannot afford to take it further. If I continue to challenge it the price would go up and up. I just wanted to take it to the paper in order to make people aware so that they are not caught out like me, and also in the hope that the rules could be changed in the future. The problem is a national one, not just St. Albans, because the blue badge does not have universal regulations and differ a lot.
Bye for now!