A disabled woman shielding during lockdown was hit with a parking fine outside her home when her permit slipped off the windscreen onto the passenger seat.
Helen Butcher rarely left her house in Merton, south west London, over the last few months so did not know her disabled parking permit had dropped out of view.
But when she appealed, the council told her she had to pay.
The 42-year-old only found out about the parking ticket when a neighbour told her one had been placed on her VW Tiguan by a council warden.
Her car is registered with Merton Council as being used by a disabled resident but a permit also has to be displayed in the vehicle.
Helen believes the ticket slipped off and because she was not using the car did not realise until it was too late.
Helen has been confined to her bed since the beginning of March after her hospital appointment to get a valve in her spine readjusted was cancelled due to the pandemic.
The wheelchair user who has a disabled resident parking permit, says she was ‘luckily informed’ by a neighbour that she was issued a PCN on May 26.
In June, Helen wrote to Merton Council, but the authority quickly denied the appeal so she decided to pay the fine of £55 to avoid being charged double the amount.
She said: “I am aware it is my responsibility to ensure the permit is displayed. I have paid the PCN but only as I cannot afford the higher charge.
“Also, I am still on lockdown and thus unable to leave the house to take this to adjudication, and due to my health, would physically struggle to attend in any case.
“I haven’t left the house since early March, literally not setting one foot over my threshold.
“I have no idea how I’m magically supposed to know that the permit had dropped from the windscreen to the passenger seat.”
As well as being on the mend from open-heart surgery she also suffers from breathlessness, asthma and tachycardia – an increased heart rate.
She added: “I have got to go through all this and it was all for no reason. I was expecting in the current circumstances just a little bit of common sense to be applied.
“It [the parking permit] has been in the car everyday so whoever was going round checking would have seen it there repeatedly before it slipped off.
“It just seems ridiculous they didn’t just stop and think. Then when I told them what happened then they still didn’t think. I contacted them two weeks ago but I’ve still had no response.”
Merton Council have since said if Helen forwards a copy of her shielding letter from the government the authority will review the £55 charge.
When contacted about the case a spokeswoman said: “Since we have been aware of the full circumstances of the appeal we have been in touch with Helen Butcher.
“We have provided necessary support to all residents who have had to shield and we have advised Helen Butcher that once she provides us with a copy of her shielding letter we will be happy to refund this parking fine.”