Fined £70 for overstaying by 10 minutes

Francis Gedman

Francis Gedman

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A BLUE badge holder is refusing to settle a parking fine after he was stung with a £70 levy for overstaying in a disabled bay by just 10 minutes.

Francis Gedman, who suffers from a number of conditions and requires assistance to walk, was ticketed by parking wardens while out helping his son enrol on a college course.

The 62-year-old had parked in an official council disabled bay believing he would only need the allotted three hours stay. But a number of hold-ups delayed the dad-of-five and he returned to his car minutes after his time elapsed.

“I was absolutely stunned that they would pounce after such a short overstay,” said Mr Gedman. “I am disabled and so is my wife; we just can’t afford this.”

Mr Gedman, of Brookside Close, Billinge, who ran his own haulage firm before he was diagnosed with neuropathy, a condition which results in his regularly losing feeling in his hands and feet, has already launched an appeal.

He was ticketed after parking in Claughton Street in St Helens town centre.

He said: “I have no intention of paying. The amount of money they are charging for the extra time I stayed is completely ridiculous. Obviously there needs to be parking enforcement, but they have to exercise some common sense when they’re dishing out tickets. It is driving people away from the town centre.”

Mr Gedman had been helping his son Lewis, 17, enrol at St Helens College earlier this month when he was ticketed.

A spokeswoman for St Helens Council said: “If Mr Gedman had parked in one of the pay and display bays on Claughton Street with his blue badge there would not have been a problem. However, because he used the disabled car parking bays behind Wilkinsons there are very clear parking rules governing the maximum length of stay.”