Pensioners slapped with ‘outrageous’ £100 parking fine after seven-minute stay

An elderly couple were punished with a parking fine up to £100 for staying just seven minutes at a meter which didn't accept cash.

Ann Bonnett, 85, dropped 87-year-old husband Terry off for a haircut in the Dovestreet car park in Stockton.

But when the machine wouldn't take their cash, the pair drove off — only to be slapped with the hefty fine in a letter a week later.

She told Teeside Live: "My husband couldn't get the money in, I couldn't get it in, it just would not accept it.

"We tried £1 coins and £2 coins, we tried about 10 and it just wouldn't accept them.

"My husband said we can't park here, we will have to go to another car park, which we did.

Ann added: "They said you can pay by mobile phone but we haven't got a mobile phone.

"If we had stayed there for two hours then fair enough.

"We just couldn't get the money in, we just thought it was ridiculous."

The Bonnetts were sent a letter informing them they faced a £100 fine for a breach, or £60 if paid promptly.

Ann said she felt the couple's elderly status wasn't taken into consideration, adding the situation was "outrageous".

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A Parking Eye spokesman said: "The motorist appealed on the 20th, which has since been reviewed and the PCN has been cancelled."

Older people have been hit with punitive parking fines on a number of controversial occasions.

One West Midlands couple were hit with a £100 fine despite being 70 miles away from the retail park which levied the charge.

Fred and Christine Taylor told NottinghamshireLive they had no interest in the Bulwell retail park.

Fred, 68, said: “You couldn’t possibly spend seven hours there.”

Meanwhile disabled driver Rex Butland, 75, was fined £100 while getting his coronavirus vaccine.

Rex told GloucestershireLive operators Parking Eye had failed to show solidarity with older motorists during the pandemic.

He said: "[They are] without any regard for public opinion, that continues to uphold and encourage national and local community spirit and decency, as has been the situation supporting the NHS and defeating the invisible enemy throughout the pandemic."

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