An 86-year-old blue badge holder is among those to have been stung by 'misleading' parking signs outside a supermarket in what used to be disabled bays.
Owen Richards, of Abbotsbury Road, Morden, was not aware that the disabled parking bays outside his local Sainsbury’s had become private when he parked there at the start of September.
Although a few white notices were put up suggesting the bays were now only for permit holders, yellow signs advertising disabled parking and 45 minutes free parking also remained up, and Mr Richards has complained that there was no publicity to advertise the change.
The old yellow signs (left) still remain in the carpark, alongside new white signs (right) warning of the change
Mr Richards, who has undergone a hip operation on his left leg and a knee operation on his right leg, as well as having a curved spine, finds it difficult to walk for long distances, and was fined £100 for parking in the bays at the small store in Central Road, Morden.
This amount was reduced to £60 for prompt payment.
He said: "It’s very mercenary. The parking spaces are empty all day and no one from the flats is using them.
"They’re probably thinking how lucrative it is. They’re not willing to listen to any reasonable argument.
"There would be no harm in allowing people during the day to use some of those that aren’t in use but it doesn’t appear to be cars from the flats that are using it. They are all empty during the day.
"People don’t realise that these have changed. If you see they’re empty you would just drive in. You would think they’re also Sainsbury’s bays."
Another Morden resident caught out by the change is Joey D'Aguiar, 30, of Monkleigh Road, Morden.
Mr D’Aguiar parked opposite the cash machine while he ran into the shop to get some last minute items for his wife’s birthday on September 7.
The Sainsbury's Local on Central Road, Morden
He has since been given £100 fine, and his appeals against it have failed on the basis that there are some signs in the area suggesting that the bays are private.
He said: "It’s so misleading. You would naturally think that it’s in their car park, because it’s by the cash machine. It really looks like it.
"You can’t see the signs clearly. It needs to be improved. A member of staff at Sainsbury’s told me that some of them had been caught out by it too.
"If they still enforcing it I guess they’re making a lot of money. It’s all falling on deaf ears.
He added: "The thing that gets me is that it happened on my wife’s birthday. Our baby is due any day now - it was actually due last week, and £100 is a lot of money when you have to pay a mortgage and look after a youngster.
"People just need to be aware."
Parking Control Management (UK) Ltd, who own the private spaces, have not responded to requests for a comment.
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