A MOTORIST is refusing to pay a fine for parking in a disabled bay - because thick snow made it impossible to tell she was in one.
And Lynne Carey hasn’t been the only unsuspecting driver to be hit with £80 fixed penalties in the busy Robin Park Retail Park in Wigan.
The 35-year-old today launched a broadside against both its owners and the attendants for putting shoppers in an impossible situation.
No attempts had been made to clear snow from the car park since December 17 and 18’s heavy snow, meaning that the painted markings on the asphalt indicating which spaces are reserved for disabled drivers were completely obscured.
There are signposts dotted around the site saying “disabled parking” but Lynne argues that on their own they do not tell motorists whether one space directly underneath them or a whole row nearby are reserved areas.
Even in the time it took for her to be interviewed for the paper at the car park, she was forced three times to break off to warn other drivers pulling into bays not to make the same mistake as she did.
The Wigan mum of one said: “I am always going to Robin Park and would never dream of parking in a disabled space. And on the day I was fined there were plenty of spaces available so it wasn’t as if I was forced to go in one. I just didn’t realise it because the markings were covered up by snow and ice.
“There are ‘disabled parking’ signs but you only see one if you approach from a particular direction and in any case they don’t tell you which specific spaces are for ordinary drivers and which for disabled ones. That’s what the markings are for.
“I had just popped to Matalan for a few bits and came out to find this penalty notice saying I have to fork out £80 - which would be reduced to £50 if I paid within 14 days - because I had not ‘clearly displayed a disabled badge’ in a disabled space.
“But they had clearly not displayed that it was a disabled space in the first place!
“I showed it to a PCSO who was coming past and he said he thought it was disgusting. They must be making an absolute packet getting everyone for making the same mistake.
“I had to tell loads of people to move before they got done like me. If they want to enforce the parking restrictions properly it is only fair that they clear the parking spaces to give everyone a fair chance.
“I went to Asda the next day and there was a member of staff clearing the disabled parking spaces. I went up to him and asked why he was doing it and he said that it was so drivers could tell where they could and couldn’t park.”
A spokesman for parking firm CMS, which polices Robin Park Retail Park, said: “If events happened in the way that Ms Carey says then it sounds like she has strong grounds for appeal. We would call up the photographs and the fine would be revoked if they bore out her story.
“There are 34 signs on the site relating to the rules and regulations of the car park but if the lady does not appeal then we cannot look into it. As far as Asda is concerned they may have a duty to make their bays clear. We monitor the car parks but we are not the land owners or managing agents so we are not responsible for removing snow.”
The spokesman refused to say who the land owner was.
Lynne said: “I don’t know why CMS are patrolling the car park in that case. I would have thought everyone who has been given a ticket since the snow came down will be entitled to have it quashed.
“But they shouldn’t have been issued in the first place. That would have saved me and, I suspect many others, a lot of stress and worry.”