Paralympic gold medalist and Splash! star Richard Whitehead was left fuming when he was slapped with a parking ticket – after he left his car in a DISABLED BAY.
The 37-year-old, who won gold in the 200m at the London Games in 2012, was stunned when he arrived back at his car to find a £75 fixed penalty notice stuck to his 4×4 Toyota.
He left his car in the Sneinton Market Square car park in Nottingham between 12.30pm and 1.30pm on Tuesday while he went to the gym.
After getting the ticket, the double-amputee who is currently starring in the hit ITV show Splash! used Twitter to express his fury, branding the ticket “ridiculous.”
Whitehead, who was awarded an MBE last year for services to athletics, told his followers traffic wardens in his home city were “slap happy.”
He also criticised the council for failing to make the car park’s ticket machine accessible for disabled people because it is situated next to a steep kerb.
He stormed: “The whole argument I’ve got with the parking attendants in the city is that they are so slap happy with the tickets.
“There’s no consistency. It’s a massive issue and I’ve had a big response on Twitter.
“I park there all the time. It’s the second time I have had a ticket even though I’m in a disabled parking space.
“I’m all for giving tickets to people parking illegally but it’s a disabled space. It’s ridiculous.”
Although the council agreed to withdraw the fine, they stated the notice was issued because the Paralympic hero’s blue badge was four days out of date.
A Nottingham City Council spokesperson said: “We have checked this straight away and it would appear that Richard’s vehicle was displaying an out-of-date blue badge.
“This may very well have been displayed in error or he may have forgotten to renew the blue badge.
“Either way, we will cancel this ticket, as we always would in these circumstances.”
The spokesman added that in general its policy was for parking wardens to “engage motorists and ask questions or offer solutions before escalating to enforcement” and give grace periods of ten minutes for an expired ticket and five minutes for vehicle not displaying a ticket or parked on double yellow lines.
He added that they do not work to any targets – and receive a flat basic council wage.
Liz Silver, the chair of the Nottingham Disabled People’s Movement, said: “It is good that the council has seen sense and repealed it.”