A disabled woman was left stunned when she was slapped with a parking fine for parking in a disabled spot in Tesco – despite her having a blue badge.
Claire Lewis visited her local supermarket on October 27 but was hit with the fine after her shop.
The 58-year-old said she received a letter nine days later saying she had to pay the fine for allegedly parking longer than allowed.
At the car park, in Merthyr Tydfil, which is run by parking management company Horizon, shoppers are permitted to park for up to two hours, writes Wales Online.
Blue badge holders are usually allowed to stay for an extra hour to accommodate their needs in public car parks.
Although Claire has a blue blade and parked for around two-and-a-half hours, the car park only monitors shoppers leaving and arriving by cameras – and she says they don't take in account blue badges.
Claire, who has a rare congenial condition called X linked Hypophosphataemia, says she feels disabled people were being treated unfairly.
Claire explained: "I have a blue badge which entitles me to park in a disabled bay for three hours. I went to Tesco and we were over two hours but not over three hours.
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"A company called Horizon has taken over Tesco car park and they have cameras recording your car going into Tesco and coming out of Tesco. It means they know how long you've been there, but they don't know whether you're a disabled driver or not."
Claire said the letter told her to park at Tesco and take her blue badge into customer services to prove her disability and void the fine.
She says she had to park in a non-disabled bay away from the story and caused her unnecessary pain.
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But she says the staff at the store said there was nothing they could do as they didn't manage the car park.
Claire was told she would need to log her car registration at the customer service desk when she arrives at the supermarket and to then return to her car to display her blue badge before shopping.
Claire added: "I spoke to a manager and he said the policy in Tesco is that when you come to Tesco, you have to come to customer services, show them your blue badge and your registration, then walk back out to your car to put your blue badge up and then you can have your three hours."
"Disabled people are being outed," she said. "There shouldn't be any policy that makes us feel that we are being identified as disabled. We've already got a blue badge.
A spokesman for Tesco said: “ Our Merthyr Tydfil Extra store has a busy car park, and so we operate a two-hour limit for customer parking which is monitored using number plate recognition cameras. If a customer needs longer than two hours, they can log their car registration with our customer service desk on arrival to make sure they do not receive a ticket.”
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