Victimised! Family of disabled woman hit out in Caistor parking row

Muriel Niblock with her car displaying the disabled parking permit EMN-170610-075206001
Muriel Niblock with her car displaying the disabled parking permit EMN-170610-075206001

A Caistor woman has hit out at the town’s parking restrictions which she claims ‘victimise’ disabled drivers.

Karen Niblock made the comment after her 82-year-old mother, Muriel Niblock, was issued with a fine for parking in a disabled bay in Caistor Market Place.

Due to a respiratory condition, Mrs Niblock has a disabled parking permit, which was on display, but had failed to also display the time clock, something Karen says she was never issued with.

“Mum was never issued with a clock,” said Karen.

“The disabled parking badge was clearly displayed and she was only parked there for a maximum of 15 minutes as she only had to visit the Post Office.”

The Market Place has a time restriction of two hours parking.

Karen continued: “The irony is, if mum had parked in an ‘able-bodied’ space she wouldn’t have been ticketed.

“Disabled drivers are victimised in Caistor.”

Mrs Niblock relies on her car to get around and was upset to receive the fine.

She said: “Why should you be harassed like this when you haven’t done anything wrong?

“I want to keep my independence and should be encouraged to do so - it is dreadful.”

Mrs Niblock has the right to appeal against the ticket, but Karen says even this process is flawed.

She said: “It can be done on line or else things have to be typed - it is certainly not in favour of the seniors or those not computer savvy.”

Restrictions to parking in the Market Place were introduced to stop all day parking and to help businesses.

However, one business manager claims the move has adversely affected business off the main square.

Manager of Caistor Arts and Heritage Centre, Stephanie Dale, says the restriction is only pushing cars onto other roads, such as Plough Hill, meaning there is no space for centre visitors.

She also said ‘over zealous’ ticketing was creating a problem for the centre volunteers, who have to pull up in their cars and drop things off.

She said: “Three tickets have been received by volunteers dropping things off.

“There is never a space close to the centre, so it is a case of just finding a way to get as near as we can.

“There just doesn’t seem to be any thought in the ticketing process.”

Matt Jones, parking services manager for the county council, said: “We have only issued seven tickets in the area around Caistor Heritage Centre so far this year, three of which were for parking in a disabled bay without a blue badge on display.

“Although there are only two spaces outside the heritage centre itself, people can stop on the single yellow lines for loading and unloading.

“However, if the activity is not seen to be continuous, they do risk getting a ticket.

“There are no other restrictions in the area, so there is somewhere to park if you want to stay longer after you’ve finished unloading.

“If anyone feels they have been unfairly ticketed, there is an appeal process.”