Woman with broken leg given fine for parking in disabled bay despite leaving a sick note

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

A shopper with a broken leg is fuming after she was given a ticket for parking in a disabled bay – despite leaving a little note explaining her situation.

Margaret Gallagher has to hop around on crutches after breaking her femur and so decided she thought she was a suitable candidate to park in the bay set aside for disabled people.

She put a fully paid-up ticket in the window, along with a doctor’s letter and her own hand-written note saying ‘broken leg’.

In it she explained to any passing parking wardens that she needed the space to fully open her car door, thinking this would be good enough to avoid being fined.

She was, of course, wrong, as the warden who did notice the car, that was parked at the Shaw Croft Car Park in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, was not impressed at all and issued Mrs Gallagher a ticket.

The company director, from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs, spotted the enforcement officer when she came back and challenged the ticket but was told there was nothing that could be done.

She said: “I’m really upset about it.

Sick note: Margaret Gallagher left a note explaining that she had a broken leg (SWNS)

MORE: Notorious lion-killer dies after falling 100ft to his death on hunt
MORE: Most parents of overweight children ‘don’t realise they are too fat’

“There was nothing else I could have done, I had to use the disabled bay and I left a note which clearly explained that.

“I love Ashbourne and I come here every week as a treat and unfortunately I expected a little more humanity from Ashbourne, but obviously I didn’t get it.

“It’s not about the fine, I can pay the fine, but the warden had physically seen me and seen how much I struggle to get around, so I would have appreciated a bit more humanity.”

Derbyshire Dales District Council explained that parking enforcement officers issue fines when there are contraventions, and can’t just rip up tickets when, say, a sick note is left on the windscreen.

A spokesman for the authority, which employs an agency to issue its fines, said: “Enforcement officers cannot, as part of their duties, make a decision not to ticket a car parked incorrectly in an area reserved for people with a permanent disability on the basis of a note placed on the dashboard.

“Nor, for that matter, is it their job to adjudicate in any situation, even if an individual appears to be putting forward a valid argument.

“That’s why we have a simple appeals process, and our parking manager has already spoken to the woman in question advising this course of action.”

Top pic: SWNS