Disabled driver and former nurse warns Crawley shoppers to be careful when parking at retail park

A disabled driver has warned other drivers to be careful when parking at a Crawley retail park due to what she feels is overly officious behaviour from parking wardens.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 11:59 am

Carol Purdy, 68, from Bewbush, was handed a ticket, and subsequently fined, after UK Car Park Management Limited deemed that she had improperly parked her car at Acorn Retail Park.

She was then sent a picture of her parking, along with the ticket.

The blue badge holder did not dispute the fine at the time, but now she was of the opinion that her parking did not warrant a ticket.

An example of parking that Carol has seen been penalised

She said: “Sometime ago I received a parking ticket when I was outside M&S in Acorn Park .

“A delivery van outside M&S forced me to park slightly further over than I would normally, and one wheel of my car was outside the line.

“I am a disabled driver, my blue badge was clearly displayed, and I was in M&S for a few minutes.

“Two weeks later I got a parking notice demanding £160 or £60 if I paid within two weeks.

“I received a picture of my car when they sent the ticket, but I have looked everywhere for it and I can’t find it.

“I was in a low state at the time and ordinarily I would fight it (the fine).

“I have before but it can take up to six months but I just couldn’t cope with any more stress so I paid.

“When it happened to me I thought I was the only one, but several people have mentioned the same thing when I’ve been in that car park.”

Carol, who is a retired nurse, has since witnessed others receive tickets at the retail park for their parking.

She has also taken pictures of other cars that have been deemed to have been not parked properly.

Carol added: “I was outside Aldi last week and saw a parking attendant taking photos of the car next to me.

“I asked her if she was issuing a ticket for them because one wheel was slightly outside the space and it was debatable whether it was outside at all.

“When I saw this girl doing this I felt incensed.

“I asked her why she was giving this person a ticket and she said if she didn’t she would be in trouble.

“I know of others whose wheel was only on the line who were issued with a ticket. They are all disabled drivers displaying blue badges.

“That is not my car, I don’t know who owns that car, I just know that in just about two weeks from now they will be shocked to get a ticket.

“I’m sure when you see the picture you realise how ridiculous giving a ticket to that driver is.

“How do M&S and Aldi feel about their customers being targeted like this I wonder?

“I am a retired nurse having given 47 years of my life to helping other people.

“I don’t think people should get away with treating the most vulnerable like this.”

A spokesman for M&S said: “The car park is owned and operated by the Acorn Retail Park landlord, not by M&S, and it is shared with a number of neighbouring retailers.

“We’re really disappointed to hear about our customer’s experience and we would suggest to any other customers in this type of situation to contact CPM, which we understand manages the car park on the landlord’s behalf.”

The Crawley Observer have contacted UK Car Park Management Limited for a response.