Disabled driver slams Rushmere parking fine

Rushmere Shopping Centre.
Rushmere Shopping Centre.

A motorist who holds a Blue disabled badge has spoken of his annoyance after being landed with a £100 fine at Rushmere Shopping Centre.

And he has warned other drivers to be aware of the pitfalls.

James Moore (58), who lives in Lurgan, had parked at the shopping centre early in the morning after an appointment at Craigavon Area Hospital.

He said, “There was nobody else in the disabled spaces and I wouldn’t have been in the shop 10 minutes but when I came back there was a ticket. I spoke to the warden and told him I had forgotten to display the badge and he told me not to worry but just to send a photocopy of it to UKPC.”

Mr Moore followed the advice but received a letter to say he needed to include a photocopy of the badge - something he had already done.

He added, “They then said they would reduce the parking fine to £60 if I paid it in 14 days.”

More correspondence followed, with UKPC offering to reduce it to £15 and, ‘as a goodwill gesture’, to donate 10 per cent to a disabled charity.

Said Mr Moore, “£15 isn’t a lot but it’s the principle of the thing. There are probably elderly people out there who would have paid the £100 straightaway.

“And mentioning the disabled charity didn’t make me feel better. I think they were doing that to make me feel guilty.

“I have been very anxious about this whole thing and was worried about not paying the fine in case they increased it. It has been very stressful.

“I wrote to the manager at Rushmere but didn’t receive a reply.”

A spokesperson for Rushmere told the Lurgan Mail that enquiries about parking should be made directly to UKPC. However, UKPC have not responded to the Mail.