Fine for disabled woman driver

PENSIONER June Welsford has criticised traffic wardens who fined her £30 for driving along a disabled access road – despite showing them a valid disability badge.

PENSIONER June Welsford has criticised traffic wardens who fined her £30 for driving along a disabled access road – despite showing them a valid disability badge.

The 71-year-old claims disabled people are being forced to part with hundreds of pounds because of misleading road signs in Ipswich Town Centre.

Mrs Welsford from Capel St Mary, was driving along Dog Head Street in the town with her son when she was pulled over by police and two traffic wardens.

She displayed her disabled badge and explained that the sign had read "disabled access" but was told those with a disability could only use the road to park in and not drive through.

"To make us pay £30 for a misleading sign is ridiculous. If we knew we couldn't go down there we would never have done it," said Mrs Welsford.

"The only people they are catching are disabled people because they think they can go down there. The signs should be changed. I have only got my pension and £30 is quite a chunk out of that."

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Mrs Welsford, who has difficulty walking, has written to Suffolk Constabulary to complain about the incident, which happened on April 23. Mrs Welsford has until July 17 to pay the fine.

A Suffolk police spokesman said: "All vehicles are prohibited from that area except lorries over 7.5 tonnes, vehicles loading or unloading, buses, taxis, private hire vehicles, permit holders and disabled badge holders, only for access to parking in that area.

"Disabled people can use it if there is the intention of parking but if you are just travelling through you shouldn't be using it even though you have a disabled badge.

"Anyone who feels they would like to contest a ticket that has been issued has that right and has the option of requesting a court hearing where the matter can be resolved."

A spokesman from Ipswich Borough Council added: "It's a clear sign that complies with the Highway Code and traffic regulations."

"I just don't want any other disabled people getting misled by the sign and having to cough up money. When we pulled up the police were talking to about four people but they were all holding up disabled badges because, like me, they just assumed they were covered," she added.

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