A severely disabled woman was stunned to be given a parking fine after her wheelchair sank into the sand on a beach – and she couldn’t return to her car.
Holidaymaker Stacey Green decided to go for a trip to Fistral beach as she had heard she could use a sand wheelchair there.
But Stacey, who has epilepsy and other mobility problems, realised that she needed some change for the parking meter and started making her way over to the beach shop in her wheelchair – until it sank in the sand.
She had to be rescued by three people and injured her foot in the process, so she was taken back to her car.
She left the beach in Newquay, Cornwall, shortly afterwards.
But to her astonishment, when Stacey returned to her home in Cambridge she found she had been slapped with a £60 parking charge by car park managers Smart Parking.
And they have now refused her appeal and are demanding payment of £100.
Stacey said she contacted the company to explain the circumstances and told them she was a blue badge holder, but was left gobsmacked by the firm’s alleged response.
She said: “We were only there from 2.34pm to 3.07pm and it takes all of that time to unclamp me and clamp me back in [my wheelchair] – and I got stuck in the sand.
“[Smart Parking] said the fine still stands and say I must pay the fine on the same day as they wrote the letter to me on June 9 or they will send it to debt collectors.”
She added: “Now they are going to send scary people to my door because they will not give me time to pay and I don’t feel I should pay for getting stuck in the sand trying to get change for the machine.”
A blogger who goes by the name of the Parking Prankster has since waded in on the issue, and is helping Stacey to dispute the charge imposed by Smart Parking.
Despite having no formal legal training, the Parking Prankster has successfully helped a number of road users across the country take parking enforcement firms to court and have their fines overturned.
No-one from Smart Parking has so far been available to comment.