Author Topic: Liverpool - Disabled pensioner felt "bullied" by VCS Ltd despite winning appeal  (Read 1532 times)

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Disabled pensioner felt "bullied" by Liverpool airport parking firm despite winning appeal

A disabled pensioner was pursued by debt collectors for a parking fine he had successfully appealed at Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport.

Malcolm Kielty, MBE, was sent demands for payment from a debt management company despite having won an appeal against the two tickets for £100 each.

The 64-year-old wheelchair user says the correspondence between him and Vehicle Control Services (VCS), which has been ongoing for about six months, has left him feeling bullied.

Mr Kielty, who became disabled after suffering from polio as a child, booked a long stay parking space at the airport online ahead of his holiday to Turkey last October.

He says he left his car in a disabled bay and, as he needed his Blue Badge permit abroad, left his tax disc, which says he is disabled, as well as his Blue Badge clock, clearly visible.

On his return from holiday he received a parking ticket for being “parked in a disabled space without clearly displaying a valid disabled persons badge”.

He said he sent a letter of objection but received no response other than another parking charge notice for £100 with a different reference number.

The pensioner wrote again but was sent only a threat of prosecution letter in response.

Mr Kielty, who had travelled from Halifax to fly from Liverpool John Lennon Airport, then replied stating his case again and was sent a letter with an offer of settlement which involved him paying admin costs of £20.

He paid the £20 by cheque and the money was accepted and cleared.

That wasn’t the end of it though as this February Mr Kielty received a letter from a debt recovery company demanding £160 for an unpaid parking charge.

He rang to say he shouldn’t have received this but has this month been sent another demand for payment from the debt recovery firm.

Mr Kielty, who was awarded an MBE in 2014 for services to Wheelchair Rugby League, said: “I felt totally aggrieved as I and my wife had followed the procedure for booking, paid the full fee requested and would have followed any other requests if they had made it clear. I have felt bullied and unable to discuss the situation with the company.

“We had returned from a month’s holiday in Turkey, where I drive and the blue badge helps and is respected by police there as a disabled driver.

“I have parked at several northern airports, following the same procedure as I did at Liverpool and have not encountered this indignation.”

On being contacted by the ECHO about Mr Kielty’s parking ticket problems, Liverpool airport bosses spoke to VCS who have said they will refund the administration charge and ensure the pensioner does not receive any more demands for payment.

An airport spokesman said: ”We have a Blue Badge Replacement Scheme in place which is promoted on the airport website, to enable drivers to display an alternative voucher should they need to take their Blue Badge away with them.

“Unfortunately by not displaying a valid or replacement Blue Badge sign, Mr Kielty was issued with a Parking Charge Notice.

“VCS are employed to control the use of the car park spaces reserved specifically for Blue Badge holders, however in this instance, once they received and accepted the appeal from Mr Keilty, an administration fee should not have been charged.

“We have raised this matter with VCS who will be in touch with Mr Kielty directly to refund any costs and to ensure that the debt recovery company no longer pursues any payment.”


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