A disabled pensioner has vowed to go to court to fight a £100 fine she received for parking her car just outside a bay in Cardiff.
Amal Bafaqih, 85, said she felt “angry, ill, sick, [and] disappointed” when she received the fine for parking incorrectly in a space in Cardiff Bay Retail Park in Wales on 5 April.
Bafaqih, who is disabled and owns a Blue Badge, was sent a picture by parking management company UK Parking Control, which shows her car parked at a disabled bay.
The photo appears to show the front wheel of her car slightly outside of the bay and encroaching on an adjacent yellow box. The second wheel appears to be further over the boxed area.
But the pensioner claims her car was not blocking traffic, nor the adjacent parking bays, and refused to pay the fine.
After her unsuccessful appeals, the outstanding debt has since escalated to £170 – but she has vowed to fight the matter in court.
Bafaqih, who lives alone in Canton, said that she was shopping for groceries in the retail park on the day in question and estimated she was there for about 20 minutes.
She spotted the ticket on her car when she returned but she claims until that point she did not realise she had not parked within the confines of the bay.
The pensioner said: “It's ridiculous. It's really ridiculous. For one inch of the road – why?
“Just nearly an inch or maybe less and [they are] victimising me for £100.
“I haven't blocked the second car beside me. The yellow box between me and the other car is clear – there's nothing.
“Yes, fair enough, I shouldn't go on the yellow line – but it is just an inch.”
Retired psychiatric nurse Bafaqih, who suffers from arthritis, diabetes and Crohn’s disease, unsuccessfully tried to challenge the enforcement officer who had issued the fine and two days later she received the fine in the post.
She says she sent copies of her medical records as part of her appeals to the fine but she was unsuccessful and has now received several letters from UK Parking Control and debt recovery agencies.
Bafaqih says she feels “victimised” and worries that other disabled people may also receive fines for parking outside bays.
She has insisted she is not paying the fine and will continue to challenge it, and added: “I'll go to prison, and I'm not paying. Take me to court, I'll defend myself.”
Yahoo News UK has attempted to contact UK Parking Control for comment.
How can you appeal a parking fine?
Parking tickets are generally issued by private companies, councils and the police and the appeals process differs for each.
For private companies, you should write a letter or email that sets out your contact details, car registration, date, time and address of the alleged parking infringement and the ticket’s reference number.
You should explain why you should not pay the ticket and include any evidence that may help your appeal – including faded parking lines, damaged or unclear signage or evidence that you have paid for a ticket.
You can contact the British Parking Association or International Parking Community if the appeal is rejected.
The process to appeal tickets issued by councils or police varies and instructions will be provided on local authority websites or on the back of fixed penalty notices.