I'm a taxi driver & I was slapped with £70 fine after helping my blind passenger get out – I only stopped for 3 minutes | The Sun

A TAXI driver is fuming after he was slapped with a £70 parking fine for stopping to help his blind passenger from the cab.

Gary Fox, 60, pulled into a disabled parking bay for "two or three minutes" earlier this week to help one of his regular customers into the pharmacy.

But when he returned Gary found a parking warden slapping a £70 ticket on his windscreen.

The taxi driver of 15 years said he tried to explain that he'd been away from his car as he helped Lenny Nicholson, who Gary often drives as he is blind, into the chemist.

But, the warden told Gary he needed a Blue Badge to park in the bay and was handed the fine.

The Greater Manchester driver's attempt to appeal the ticket has been unsuccessful, too.

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Gary told the Manchester Evening News: "I took him [Lenny] from the car to the counter in the chemist and got the someone to assist him.

"I left the car for two or three minutes at the most.

"I came outside while I was waiting to bring him to the car. I looked round and there was a traffic warden taking a photograph of my car and there was a ticket on my windscreen.

"I was shocked. I had only just taken him into the chemist and came straight back.

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"It was unbelievable. The traffic warden just came from nowhere.

"There is no way he has not seen me taking the guy into the chemist. Why not think there is a nice guy helping a blind man?"

The Middleton Cars driver claimed there was no where else to park at the time, and tried to explain to the warden that he was helping a disabled customer.

He said: "He said it was not his problem and I should have a Blue Badge.

"Lenny does not drive so he does not have a Blue Badge. I'm a taxi driver and I'm not disabled so I don't have one."

When Gary told Lenny what had happened, he offered to pay.

But, Gary refused the offer. Although he's furious over the situation, he still thinks he did the right thing helping Lenny.

I would feel very nervous but I'd still do the exact same thing again.

Gary said: "My job is to assist elderly and disabled people when I take them in my taxi.

"I've never encountered anything like this before. I'm disgusted and disappointed.

"What happens next time? Do I say 'you have to make your own way because I can't stop here?'

"I would feel very nervous but I'd still do the exact same thing again. I would not let the passenger down, especially if they were disabled."

A spokesperson for Rochdale Borough Council told M.E.N: “People without disabilities who park in disabled bays take spaces away from the people who really need them.

"This can mean people with mobility problems having to walk longer distances or even being unable to reach their destination.

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“All drivers, but especially professional drivers like Mr Fox, should be aware that it is a legal requirement to display a Blue Badge while parking in a disabled bay and not having one can lead to a penalty charge notice being issued.

“It should be noted that whether or not you drive a vehicle, disabled people are eligible to apply for a Blue Badge for use as a passenger.”

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