Unjust £160 fine could deny disabled people taxi services, warns cabbie

Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

A taxi driver in Melton has been fined £160 for staying too long in a car park while trying to help a wheelchair user into the car.

Cabbie Lee Franklin, who received the parking ticket for staying a “few minutes longer” than the allotted 10 minutes allowed for pick-ups at the back of the Bell Centre, fears that the fine could discourage other taxi drivers from collecting people with mobility problems.

He told the Melton Times he required extra time to carefully help regular passenger, Tom Christian, out of his wheelchair and into the front seat before folding his chair and putting it in the boot.

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“I was probably there three minutes longer than I should have been but my passenger was in a wheelchair, he had recently had a stroke and he can’t breathe very well. If you start rushing him he begins to panic so I always take it very carefully and make sure he is comfortable.”

The paper said that Mr Franklin has not yet paid his fine, which was issued by car park operator Smart Parking.

Smart Parking said that Mr Franklin was invited to appeal the ticket by writing officially to the company.

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