'˜Unfair' parking fine for disabled pupils

A headteacher of disabled students has branded Arun District Council as '˜overzealous' for giving their school minibus a parking ticket during a trip.

Monday, 19th December 2016, 7:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:47 pm
The minibus for the Lavinia Norfolk Centre, part of The Angmering School which teaches children with disabilites, was fined for parking over two spaces

Mark Andrews is in charge of the Lavinia Norfolk Centre in The Angmering School, which teaches around 50 students aged 11 to 19 with physical and learning disabilities.

A group of his pupils went on a minibus trip to Littlehampton seafront to visit a café and buy a hot drink as part of their life skills syllabus.

The driver parked in the Sea Road car park across two disabled bays, and was issued with a £25 parking ticket.

Mark Andrews, head of the Lavinia Norfolk Centre in The Angmering School

Mr Andrews contested the fine but the appeal was initially rejected by the council, which said that they could have used a coach park in the area.

But Mr Andrews said the driver needed to park on the seafront to offload students because one pupil used a walking frame and could not walk very far.

Mr Andrews said: “I was quite annoyed. I feel like someone was overzealous in enforcing the rules.

“We want to do as many trips as we possibly can to get the kids out and about, but when we get fines of £25 or £50 it does make it much harder.”

The disabled badge in the window of the minibus

After the Gazette contacted council leader Gillian Brown about the issue, the parking ticket was waived.

Mrs Brown said she was ‘pleased that it has been resolved’.

In a letter to Mr Andrews, Nigel Lynn, chief executive of the council, said that the fine had been issued correctly because there was room at the front of the first bay for the vehicle to move forward so that all four wheels would have been within it.

He added: “In view of the circumstances the Parking Services Manager has agreed not to pursue the fine and has accordingly written off the penalty charge.”

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