A taxi driver has slammed Aberdeen City Council after fining him for driving through Broad Street’s bus gate to drop his 91-year-old dad off to renew his disability blue badge.
The incident happened last month after the authority told Thomas Elrick to apply online for his badge.
However, because he’s not able to use a computer he was driven to the Marischal College HQ by son, Steven.
Mr Elrick junior, who is from the Kincorth area, and his father were shocked by how fast the council were in fining him £30 – with the fine arriving within a week and the blue badge application still pending since late June.
Aberdeen City Council has stressed the family has the chance to submit an appeal to the fine within 28 days.
‘He can’t walk more than 15ft without falling’
Explaining why he did not park nearby and walk to Marischal College, Mr Elrick junior said: “I had to park at the front door, he can’t walk more than 15ft without falling.”
On the length of time it is taken for the lifeline blue badge to be sent, he added: “The fine’s through and paid for before his badge is even here.
“They say it’s in process, they haven’t got time to do it, but they’ve got time to send me his fine, they’ve sent this form to fine me.”
The badge helps people with disabilities park close to their destination, either as a passenger or driver and is for on-street parking only.
Mr Elrick senior cannot get out of his home because he is still waiting on getting the badge.
He said: “Nobody seems to be doing anything about it, I’m getting pushed from pillar to post and I’m not getting one bit forward.
“I’m round the bend, I don’t know what to do for the best.”
‘I’ve got a blemish on my character’
Mr Elrick senior says he is worried about the fine due to the impact that it is having on his reputation, saying: “I’m not awful well, what’s annoying me most is that I’ve got a blemish on my character and I’m 91, I’ve never had any blemishes on my character before.”
A council worker told Mr Elrick senior to “to just pay the fine and that’ll be it”, but he is adamant he has done no wrong and claimed the person he spoke to from the local authority was “very rude”, saying he “should have parked round corner”.
A spokeswoman for Aberdeen City Council said: “Any motorist can appeal a bus gate fine within 28 days of receiving it. Appeals are considered on a case by case basis. We do not comment on individual cases.
“With regard to blue badge applications, there are a variety of support options for individuals who do not have direct online access or who require an intermediary to assist. Paper application forms are also available.”
Broad Street’s bus gate went live in August 2018 and in its first month made £22,000 in fines.
Anyone caught driving a vehicle other than a bus through the route is faced with a £60 penalty charge notice, which can be reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.