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Man Given Parking Fine Because His Car's Shadow Was In Disabled Parking Space

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Man Given Parking Fine Because His Car's Shadow Was In Disabled Parking Space

A dad described himself as 'gobsmacked' after receiving a £65 parking fine because the shadow of his car encroached on to a disabled parking space.

Matthew Cole, who works as a self-employed gardener, received a letter from Lewisham Council this month after leaving his car parked outside Blackheath Post Office in Lewisham in March. 

The letter claimed he had been parking illegally, with images sent by the council showing his silver Ford estate car parked in an unmarked bay next to a signposted disabled spot. His car appeared to be safely in the unmarked bay, but it cast a shadow into the spot next to it.

Credit: Matthew Cole/Trinity Mirror
Credit: Matthew Cole/Trinity Mirror

Obviously, Cole has no control over the sun or the directions in which shadows might fall, so he described the situation as 'absurd'.

"There’s no signage where I parked and the photos they sent me only show the shadow of my car in the disabled spot. I was taking my daughter to a football match on the heath and had parked there before without problem. Having not got a ticket at the other times, I personally don’t think I should have got a ticket this time," he told MyLondon.

The dad blasted the ticket as 'completely wrong', accusing the council of 'enforcing something that's not there'.

“I think £65 is not a lot to many people today but the principle is wrong. If you don’t pay the fine in a certain time it doubles to £130 which is a lot," he continued.


Cole appealed the fine and argued there was no disabled parking sign for the spot in which his car was actually parked, but the council rejected his complaint and alleged he had parked in a spot reserved for disabled badge holders. Cole is determined not to give in, though, and has since lodged a second complaint.

Credit: Matthew Cole/Trinity Mirror
Credit: Matthew Cole/Trinity Mirror

“I’ve parked in that same spot at least three other times for five to eight hours each time and had no problem. I don’t see why it was a problem this time," he said.

In a statement cited by MyLondon, a spokesperson for Lewisham Council said: “We issued a Penalty Charge Notice [PCN] to Mr Cole on 26 March for parking in a disabled bay, which was marked with a ‘Disabled badge holders only’ sign. Mr Cole’s initial challenge of this PCN was rejected as he didn’t give a reason for challenging it."


The spokesperson went on to say Cole has since outlined his reasons for challenging the fine and said the council is 'looking into in line with legal processes'. "We will be letting Mr Cole know the outcome in due course," they continued.

In an update provided to LADbible, a Lewisham Council spokesperson claimed the 'Disabled badge holders only' sign covered two parking bays and could 'clearly be seen from the bay that Mr Cole was parked in'.

"However," they continued, "upon further review, we have cancelled this Penalty Charge Notice and we are reviewing the bays to help make them clearer to drivers.”

Featured Image Credit: Matthew Cole/Trinity Mirror

Topics: Cars, UK News, London

Emily Brown
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