Fareham man’s parking fine is scrapped after victory over council

SUCCESS Edward Copplestone succeeded in having his parking fine dismissed. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (132695-499)
SUCCESS Edward Copplestone succeeded in having his parking fine dismissed. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (132695-499)
Councillor Luke Stubbs

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A DISABLED pensioner has claimed victory over Fareham Borough Council at a tribunal over a parking ticket he received for not displaying his blue badge.

Edward Copplestone, 82, from Sandisplatt, Fareham, parked in the disabled parking spaces in Bath Lane car park in May, when he was issued a £70 parking charge for not putting his blue badge on view.

Mr Copplestone suffers from sciatica, gout and has bad knees from his days working as a carpet fitter, meaning he cannot walk very far.

Due to being in pain, he forgot to display his badge clearly. But when he received a fine from the council, an enraged Mr Copplestone took action – and succeeded.

He said: ‘It’s not as if did not have a badge. I was entitled to park there and was registered disabled. Just because it wasn’t shown then I was ticketed. If the authorities know automatically if you have tax, or insurance, or a driving licence, then displaying your badge or setting the clock doesn’t really mean anything.’

The case went to tribunal in Southampton, and the adjudicator instructed the council to waive the charge.

Mr Copplestone had previously been issued a warning by the council in March when he had forgotten to set the clock on his badge.

Adjudicator Deborah Gibson ruled: ‘It is arguable that it could not have been enforced if issued for not having a valid badge when only the time clock was missing as it is not required by the regulations.

‘However the problem in this case is that the car park where the PCN was issued is not referred to in the schedule... relied upon by the council. I find the contravention has not been proved because I cannot be satisfied there is an order containing a requirement to display a badge in this car park.’

Member for public protection, Cllr Trevor Cartwright said: ‘The charge was served correctly as there was no blue badge on display. Drivers using a disabled bay in Fareham Borough Council car parks must have the badge on display. If no blue badge is on display then a charge will be served.

‘The reason Mr Copplestone won was due to the wrong information being submitted by the council. This was an error on the part of the officer submitting the case. There is nothing wrong with the order in place in the car park.’

Mr Copplestone spoke of his relief and encouraged more people to stand up to parking charges. He said: ‘When you get older, or when you have pressure on you, sometimes you do forget things.

‘People should fight these charges. If all the people started fighting then they would clog the works up and charges wouldn’t happen.’