BLUE BADGE holders have received fines for parking in the disabled bays of Union Place car park - despite not being made aware of changes to NCP charges.
Anthony Aniello received a £50 fine on July 2. The day after, he noticed a handwritten sign saying ‘disabled must pay’.
Mr Aniello, of Paxmead Crescent, Broadwater, said: “I parked in the disabled bay and put my time card to 11.15am. But when I came back, I found a ticket had been issued at 12.10pm. It was so unexpected. I have never seen any notification about disabled people paying for parking in Union Place before and this has really upset me.
“When I looked, after receiving the ticket, I saw that there was a part about disabled badge holders having to pay on the yellow sign at the front of the car park. This must be a new sign as I have never seen this before.
“Also, it is impossible to see as you are driving into the car park because it is on the wrong side and there is nothing by where the four disabled bays are marked out that mentions paying.
“I think a lot of people are going to get caught out by this because traditionally people with a disabled badge have not had to pay.”
Phyl Jansen, chairman of the Worthing branch of Voice for Disability, said: “I am disgusted to hear that this is happening and I am not surprised that people are upset. We are supposed to be looking after disabled people and this sort of thing does not help.
“It would be nice if NCP could explain why they have suddenly put up the charges and I will certainly be writing to them to get some answers.
“I do not think people with blue badges should be paying for parking. Some of our members struggle so much to get in and out of their cars, why should they pay for the privilege of going to get some shopping?
“This sudden change is going to hit an awful lot of people and it just is not fair.”
A spokesman for NCP said: “NCP provides disabled parking spaces which are much larger than the standard bays, and these bays are positioned for maximum convenience when they arrive at the car park.
“We haven’t historically charged on this car park in the past. Since March we have reverted to our standard terms and conditions.
“If any disabled driver has received a notice since March 31, 2014, then please contact NCP through our appeals process and we will treat any appeal sympathetically.”