Driver slapped with £110 fine after parking to help disabled friend

Caught: Mr Pratt's car in the bus stop

Caught: Mr Pratt's car in the bus stop

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

A driver who parked to help a disabled man get to his optician’s appointment has called his fine by Kingston Council “crass and insensitive”.

Andrew Pratt, from Thames Ditton, parked in a restricted bus stop in Ewell Road for “about 90 seconds” to help a 91-year-old family friend.

But a camera car spotted him opposite Mistry Optician and he was slapped with a £110 fine.

Mr Pratt said: “There was nowhere to park. If I had gone to the optician in Tesco there would have been a disabled bay.

“There is no sense of supporting local businesses when they have parking rules like they have.

“I think the biggest result I would like to get out of this is for them to at least have a disabled parking bay there.

“It is up to Kingston to sort itself out.”

Mr Pratt has taken his case to the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service.

He even has a letter to the council from optician Mansukh Mistry in his support.

Mr Mistry said: “It is unthinkable that your department should consider this a parking offence, when the amount of time the car was stationary was minimal.

“Furthermore it did not obstruct or hinder any moving traffic on the road.

“I hope this will exonerate Mr Pratt of any wrong doing and the unjustified penalty notice.”

Berrylands councillor Karen George said: “It is really unfair given the situation. It’s not very nice.”

Mr Pratt was handed his ticket last October but his appeal has not yet been decided.

His friend had only recently come out of hospital after a nine-week stay, he told the council.

Comments (8)

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8:29am Thu 23 Jan 14

bosco1 says...

Sadly this happens in Bournemouth on a regular basis, its just another way of making money from the motorist.! Whatever happened to a bit of common sense nowadays its "Jobsworth" I hope the fine is cancelled . Even here in Bournemouth with a disabled Badge you cannot stop in a bus lane for 2 seconds.!!
Sadly this happens in Bournemouth on a regular basis, its just another way of making money from the motorist.! Whatever happened to a bit of common sense nowadays its "Jobsworth" I hope the fine is cancelled . Even here in Bournemouth with a disabled Badge you cannot stop in a bus lane for 2 seconds.!! bosco1
  • Score: 0

10:30am Thu 23 Jan 14

angryf160 says...

How unfortunate that you got caught! imagine if we all started parking/stopping in bus lanes or restricted areas for any amount of time and for whatever reason. You knew you should not have done it, but you did. Pay the fine
How unfortunate that you got caught! imagine if we all started parking/stopping in bus lanes or restricted areas for any amount of time and for whatever reason. You knew you should not have done it, but you did. Pay the fine angryf160
  • Score: 5

1:13pm Thu 23 Jan 14

kingstonpaul says...

angryf160 wrote:
How unfortunate that you got caught! imagine if we all started parking/stopping in bus lanes or restricted areas for any amount of time and for whatever reason. You knew you should not have done it, but you did. Pay the fine
Oh, what an ordered but probably rather dull life you must live. It seems that so many facets of just 'being human', those unforseen little eventualities like helping someone out, leave us exposed to the tentacles of the enforcement industry.
[quote][p][bold]angryf160[/bold] wrote: How unfortunate that you got caught! imagine if we all started parking/stopping in bus lanes or restricted areas for any amount of time and for whatever reason. You knew you should not have done it, but you did. Pay the fine[/p][/quote]Oh, what an ordered but probably rather dull life you must live. It seems that so many facets of just 'being human', those unforseen little eventualities like helping someone out, leave us exposed to the tentacles of the enforcement industry. kingstonpaul
  • Score: -6

5:44pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Simbali says...

I had a similar experience with Kingston Council when I took my unsighted friend to a dental appointment in New Malden. I stopped outside the dentists got out of my car and walked round to the passenger side to help my friend out of the car. It took me all of 30 seconds or so, I was not parked, I did not leave the vehicle unattended, I was not causing an obstruction. It should have been absolutely clear to the mobile CCTV operative that I was assisting my passenger to alight. After much correspondence with the ticket office, which included a dispute over signage and my reference to the Disability Act, the charge was waived. When there are proven mitigating circumstances such as yours it would be a very inhuman act if the charge were to stand. I wish you good luck with your case.
I had a similar experience with Kingston Council when I took my unsighted friend to a dental appointment in New Malden. I stopped outside the dentists got out of my car and walked round to the passenger side to help my friend out of the car. It took me all of 30 seconds or so, I was not parked, I did not leave the vehicle unattended, I was not causing an obstruction. It should have been absolutely clear to the mobile CCTV operative that I was assisting my passenger to alight. After much correspondence with the ticket office, which included a dispute over signage and my reference to the Disability Act, the charge was waived. When there are proven mitigating circumstances such as yours it would be a very inhuman act if the charge were to stand. I wish you good luck with your case. Simbali
  • Score: 0

9:00pm Thu 23 Jan 14

robertbrickwood says...

Yet more evidence of the unfair way residents are treated in the borough by the Council. We have the most expensive local tax in London, we had a paedophile running the LIB Dem Council and Edward Davey is a closet Tory who has the opportunity to come out now in government. Its time for change and in my book any one is better than this bunch of chrlatans we currently have who are robbing the residents blind
Yet more evidence of the unfair way residents are treated in the borough by the Council. We have the most expensive local tax in London, we had a paedophile running the LIB Dem Council and Edward Davey is a closet Tory who has the opportunity to come out now in government. Its time for change and in my book any one is better than this bunch of chrlatans we currently have who are robbing the residents blind robertbrickwood
  • Score: -3

12:30pm Sun 26 Jan 14

shelokay says...

are other options just to simple?
1. park on the correct side of the road?
2. use a wheelchair for the disabled guy?
3. use an optician that is easy to access?
4, use an optician that does housecalls?

thats 4 easy options no?
are other options just to simple? 1. park on the correct side of the road? 2. use a wheelchair for the disabled guy? 3. use an optician that is easy to access? 4, use an optician that does housecalls? thats 4 easy options no? shelokay
  • Score: -2

12:33pm Sun 26 Jan 14

shelokay says...

kingstonpaul wrote:
angryf160 wrote:
How unfortunate that you got caught! imagine if we all started parking/stopping in bus lanes or restricted areas for any amount of time and for whatever reason. You knew you should not have done it, but you did. Pay the fine
Oh, what an ordered but probably rather dull life you must live. It seems that so many facets of just 'being human', those unforseen little eventualities like helping someone out, leave us exposed to the tentacles of the enforcement industry.
there are other ways to help people.
i dont understand why being disabled makes someone completely helpless when we have so many things to help with disablilities.. please see my post above.
[quote][p][bold]kingstonpaul[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]angryf160[/bold] wrote: How unfortunate that you got caught! imagine if we all started parking/stopping in bus lanes or restricted areas for any amount of time and for whatever reason. You knew you should not have done it, but you did. Pay the fine[/p][/quote]Oh, what an ordered but probably rather dull life you must live. It seems that so many facets of just 'being human', those unforseen little eventualities like helping someone out, leave us exposed to the tentacles of the enforcement industry.[/p][/quote]there are other ways to help people. i dont understand why being disabled makes someone completely helpless when we have so many things to help with disablilities.. please see my post above. shelokay
  • Score: -2

4:23pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Simbali says...

I don't mean to be rude shelokay but there are several flaws in the suggestions you have made:
1) the driver was on the right side of the road
2) obtaining a wheelchair would not solve the problem of getting from the car to the opticians and, in fact, would have caused a longer period of being stationary for the vehicle. Also it is not that easy to get a wheelchair these days, cut backs and all that. You are also assuming that Mr Pratt is capable of pushing/manoevering/
carrying a wheelchair
3) & 4) why should a disability prevent someone from being able to continue using a speciality service they were able to use previously? It is actually against the law to prevent someone from using a service due to their disability. There would have to be extenuating circumstances and I don't think the Council would be able to get away with suggesting this fell within that category.

Empathy and common sense are clearly lacking in this century!
I don't mean to be rude shelokay but there are several flaws in the suggestions you have made: 1) the driver was on the right side of the road 2) obtaining a wheelchair would not solve the problem of getting from the car to the opticians and, in fact, would have caused a longer period of being stationary for the vehicle. Also it is not that easy to get a wheelchair these days, cut backs and all that. You are also assuming that Mr Pratt is capable of pushing/manoevering/ carrying a wheelchair 3) & 4) why should a disability prevent someone from being able to continue using a speciality service they were able to use previously? It is actually against the law to prevent someone from using a service due to their disability. There would have to be extenuating circumstances and I don't think the Council would be able to get away with suggesting this fell within that category. Empathy and common sense are clearly lacking in this century! Simbali
  • Score: 0

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