A Bucks driver decided to challenge the Council after he was fined £35 for parking on a disabled parking bay in Amersham. 

Amersham- resident James Hurley, parked his car at the Old Town car park behind Tesco one March day to run errands.  

The broadcast producer was used to parking at the spot, but this time he missed markings on the road, and was greeted by a “surprise” ticket on his return.

James explained: “I saw an empty spot and went for it.

“I saw faint yellow lines, and wondered whether I should park there. But other cars were parked there, so I thought nothing of it.

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“I was back within 45 minutes, but as I got back to the car, the ticket had been issued five minutes ago, and the ticket officer was sat in the car watching me get in the car.

He had missed the faded marking for the disabled bay, and a sign plate nearby, resulting as a £35 fine if he paid within 14-days.

He said: “I was pretty shocked and angered, to put it softly!

“I was more angered with myself, because I looked at the lines but they were very faint, and I was going for only half an hour, so I was quite surprised.”

Despite the risk of a higher £70 fine, he decided to appeal. First, his appeal was rejected by Bucks Council, but later the Traffic Penalty Tribunal found the disabled parking information wasn’t adequate.

Having “had enough this time”, James wanted to know how many others were impacted by the parking spot, and he sent a Freedom of Information request to Bucks Council.  

Last time they maintained the paintings was in 2016, he said.

He said: “Most people will just pay the 25 to 35 pound fine in the 14-day window just to save, I appealed it initially, but they said the signage is very clear.

“In the next paragraph they say ‘you have 14 days to pay, if you don’t pay within that you will have to pay the full payment.’

“They scare you into paying within the 14-day window and not challenge it, because most people don’t want to pay the £70 if it doesn’t go right, especially currently with the amount of money people have.

“You just rather give up.”

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Figures provided to James from the Bucks Council show they generated more than £56,000 in paid parking fees from Amersham Old Town car park between January 2016 and May 2022.

For the same period at Old Town car park, Bucks Council generated £33,367 from non-disabled parking bay fines, and £2,179 off fines for parking on disabled bay without adequate permission, while 113 people appealed fines and won for parking on a disabled bay. 

He wanted Bucks Council to “put the money into the car park and make clear signage, and not take advantage of local residents.”

“I’m sure there are other residents who have paid that fine and will be pretty annoyed to find the Council’s doing nothing to maintain it.”

Buckinghamshire Council’s Steven Broadbent, Cabinet Member for Transport responded: “The money generated from penalty charge notices is invested directly back into a range of areas within transport, environment and parking services, this includes the upkeep of our car parks.

“We take all feedback from any adjudicator decision seriously and will review the points made in the case and take any action required as a result of the guidance given.”