Birmingham & Black Country

Man in Birmingham disabled parking bay tow stand-off

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Media captionBirmingham City Council said the driver's actions had taken a much needed disabled parking space out of action

A driver who wrongly parked in a disabled bay in Birmingham sat in his car for more than seven hours to stop it being towed away.

Matthew Sanders, 34, from Macclesfield, Cheshire, said he had spent £270 to get his car on the road and could not afford the costs if it was impounded.

"If they take it off me I haven't got the funds to release it," he said.

The stand-off ended at about 18:00 GMT. It was thought Mr Sanders reached an agreement with the tow company.

He said the firm, which is contracted by Birmingham City Council, had agreed not to charge him a release fee.

Image caption Matthew Sanders was in the stand-off with council contractors for more than seven hours
Image caption Mr Sanders' car could not be legally impounded with him still inside it

Mr Sanders, who said he had driven to Birmingham to pick up his friend from work, said he had "no quarrel" with being given a ticket for parking in the disabled bay.

However, he said it was his understanding there was an eight-hour grace period before a car can be towed, which was not observed.

It was "clear a mistake had been made", he added, and urged other people to "research their rights".

Police presence

The council said the driver had parked "illegally" in the bay without a blue badge. It is believed he got back into the car after it had been put on to the tow truck.

"Disabled motorists have a right to park in designated spaces and this driver's actions have taken a much-needed space out of action for disabled visitors to the city for an entire morning and wasted the time of officers and contractors," a council spokeswoman said.

West Midlands Police said officers were there for a reassuring presence only and to prevent a breach of the peace.

The £70 Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) would cost £35 if paid within 14 days. However, Mr Sanders would also have faced a £105 vehicle removal fee and £12 daily charges.

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