'Never had this': Disabled driver fined for parking at Tesco despite having blue badge

Claire Lewis received a letter telling her she needed to pay a fine for parking for longer than she was allowed at a Tesco at the end of October. The supermarket’s car park is operated by parking management company Horizon, with shoppers being allowed to park for a maximum of two hours.

“It means they know how long you’ve been there, but they don’t know whether you’re a disabled driver or not.

“I parked away from Tesco and by the time I got into Tesco, I was in terrible pain. 

“At customer services I was told Tesco couldn’t do anything for me and said I would have to write to Horizon, send in my blue badge and they would be able to void it.

“I spoke to a manager and he said the policy in Tesco is that when you come to Tesco, you have to come to customer services, show them your blue badge and your registration, then walk back out to your car to put your blue badge up and then you can have your three hours,” she told Wales Online.

Claire felt that this policy was unfair because it meant disabled people would have to walk further every time they needed to when going shopping.

The blue badge was introduced in 1971 and was introduced to make parking easier and more accessible for those with disabilities.

While at the store, Claire claimed that other people said they had received a letter, with some drivers even paying the fine despite using their badges correctly.

She continued, saying: “A crowd of people had gathered while this was going on and as I walked out they said they had one of those (letters) as well. 

“So I think this is a bigger problem than Tesco knows and people don’t know what to do. Not all people are as vocal as me.

“A lot of disabled people become disabled. When you’re born with it like me, that’s all you know and you have to fight for everything. 

“I’ve been disabled my whole life and have had a car since I was 21 and never-ever have I had this.”

A Tesco spokesperson told Wales Online: “Our Merthyr Tydfil Extra store has a busy car park, and so we operate a two-hour limit for customer parking which is monitored using number plate recognition cameras. 

“If a customer needs longer than two hours, they can log their car registration with our customer service desk on arrival to make sure they do not receive a ticket.”

Express.co.uk have contacted Horizon Parking and Tesco for a comment.

Additional reporting by Lucy John.

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