THE city council has apologised after a cabbie was given a parking ticket while he helped a woman in a wheelchair into his taxi.
Julie Carnelley said she was “gobsmacked” when the attendant pounced as the driver was helping her into his cab outside Jobcentre Plus in Upper Parliament Street, where she works as a clerical officer.
The 46-year-old mother has multiple sclerosis and uses a taxi to take her to and from work every day. She has been picked up from the same spot for the past two years and while it does require the driver to wait on double yellow lines, she says it is the first time a ticket has been issued.
After being contacted by the Post, the city council agreed to scrap the fine for taxi firm NG11 Cars and apologised.
Ms Carnelley, of Brinkhill Crescent, Clifton said: “As the driver was coming to fetch me, there was the traffic warden writing the ticket – even though he could see me being escorted to the car.
“Traffic wardens have enquired before and the drivers tell them they are waiting to pick up a disabled passenger. It was wrong so I’m really glad the Post stepped in.”
Drivers are not permitted to park on double yellow lines without a blue badge.
However, vehicles are permitted to stop for five minutes to pick up or drop off a passenger, and commercial vehicles can load and unload.
The cab arrived at 2.57pm on Tuesday to pick up Ms Carnelley outside the front doors of her office. When Ms Carnelley left the building at 3pm, taxi driver Anthony Clarke got out of his car to prepare the disabled ramp at the back of the vehicle.
And at 3.04pm – as she was being lifted into the car – the traffic warden issued the ticket.
Ms Carnelley added: “It was unbelievable; I came out of work to see a traffic warden waiting. I was gobsmacked.”
Mr Clarke, 57, of Holbrook Court, Clifton, added: “He could see I had a disabled person in my car. I took the ticket off and said ‘this is ridiculous’ but he had walked off by then.”
Rob Foster, co-owner of NG11 Cars in Clifton, said: “I can understand if it had been there for half-an-hour. If they’re doing this, then who else are they giving tickets to?”
Pete Mitchell, head of licensing, permits and regulations at the city council, said: “We’re sorry this ticket was issued and cancelled it as soon as it was brought to our attention.
“The traffic warden should have used discretion when it became apparent the driver was helping a disabled passenger into his taxi, and given him more than the five minutes we normally allow.
“We’d like to apologise to NG11 Cars and Ms Carnelley. Steps will be taken to make sure this is not repeated.”