A FURIOUS taxi driver is to appeal a £70 fine for parking outside a town centre pub to pick up a disabled customer for just one minute.
Altaf Patel pulled up his specially-adapted cab outside The Postal Order in Blackburn town centre to collect his wheelchair-using fare.
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He rang the customer called Henry as arranged on his mobile phone but got no answer.
Altaf, a 45-year-old father of three, pulled his taxi off the double yellow lines into an alleyway entrance further down Darwen Street and went to collect his passenger.
When they returned he was astonished to find his cab had been ticketed for illegal parking for less than a minute.
The notifications recorded “Observed from 15.31 to 15.31”.
Mr Patel, who runs Tiger Taxi, now has to pay a £70 fine, reduced to £35 if paid within 28 days.
He said: “I am really angry, furious in fact.
“This traffic warden was far too keen and over-zealous.
“I was only there for a minute to collect a disabled customer.
“A fine of £35 is more than I sometimes earn in a day.
“Taxis often pick up from outside pubs. Surely it’s better people who have had a drink use a cab than drive?
“I couldn’t just leave my disabled customer and drive off.
“Some of the traffic wardens are too rigid, especially with taxi drivers.
“She could have waited and asked me to move on.
“I wasn’t obstructing the traffic and made sure my taxi was off the double yellow lines and out of the way.
“I will be appealing it.
“The last time I got a ticket, I was in the wrong and paid it straight away.”
A Blackburn with Darwen council spokesman said: “The driver can appeal the penalty notice. There is a period of grace for parking on or near yellow lines to pick up fares.”
Mohammed Yousuf, chairman of the Blackburn Taxi Association, said: “Technically the warden was correct. He would have been better parked on the double yellows where there is a few minutes’ grace.”