AN ELDERLY couple have been hit with a parking ticket because their disabled badge was facing the wrong way.

Pensioners Leslie and Edna Dingsdale returned to their Nissan vehicle on Lambpit Street, next to British Home Stores, Wrexham – a spot they have parked in for the past 20 years – to find they had been issued with the £70 penalty by
Wrexham Council.

Mr Dingsdale, 84, was told by council chiefs the ticket was issued due to the disabled badge being placed the wrong way up in his car – showing his wife’s photograph rather than the expiry date.

“I will be contesting this and I hope they will excuse me,” said Mr Dingsdale, who received the parking ticket last Thursday morning.

“I guess it is my fault in some ways but it seems harsh.

“It is so long since we got the rule book that I really can’t remember what we’re supposed to do, but it hasn’t been an issue before.”

Mr Dingsdale, of Wyndham Drive, Cefn Y Bedd, said the badge was placed that way to show clearly it was his wife who needed the sticker when she is a passenger in the car.

“I would advise everyone to make sure they place the disabled badge the right way up in light of what has happened here,” he added.

“As far I was concerned I was doing the right thing and it needs to be clear to people what the rules are.”

Mr Dingsdale had initially feared the couple received the ticket for illegally parking on the pedestrianised area, despite having done so for more than 20 years due to his wife, 80, being visually impaired.

“My wife’s eyesight is very poor and she struggles on her feet so it is a great help to us that we can park there,” he added.

“It was confusing when the parking ticket was issued as there was no wording on it about the disabled badge, so it led me to believe I had no right to park there.”

Wrexham Council has defended the implementation of the ticket.

John Bradbury, head of environment, said: "The parking ticket was issued as the blue badge was not being displayed in the correct manner and the civil
enforcement officer was therefore unable to tell whether the badge was valid to use.

“It is clearly stated in the blue badge guidance leaflet that the badge should be displayed with the serial number/expiry date showing upwards not the photograph.

“The council actively enforces this requirement of the scheme, as previously when a badge was displayed upside down we found a member of the public mis-using a badge that was not theirs and was considerably out of date.

“The council enforces the blue badge scheme to ensure genuine blue badge holders can access where they need to.”

Mr Bradbury added that Mr and Mrs Dingsdale are welcome to appeal against the parking ticket.