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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Medway Council call off £1,200 bailiff visit after Nikki Archer drove her disabled daughter down Waterfront Way, Chatham

01 August 2014
by Ed McConnell

Single mother Nikki Archer, of Grace Avenue, Maidstone, was hit with a £30 fine for driving in a bus lane in Chatham.

She was chauffeuring her 20-year-old daughter Monique, who is visually impaired and suffers from cerebral palsy, in a specially adapted vehicle.

Nikki Archer and daughter Monique and the parking notice from Medway Council

Nikki Archer and daughter Monique and the parking notice from Medway Council

Ms Archer, 43, said: “It’s the inconsistency of it. Just five miles away in Maidstone you are allowed to drive in bus lanes if you have a disabled badge.”

She initially appealed the penalty on the grounds of inadequate signage, but the highways department of the council didn't budge.

After unsuccessful attempts to get the fine overturned she faced a £407 fine or a visit from the bailiffs who would have taken £1,200 of property, almost £800 of which being their costs.

Repossession company JBW Judicial Services Group attended Ms Archer’s house last week at 7.30am and marked up things to take, including property adapted for her daughter’s disabilities.

Jamie Waller, CEO of JBW, said: “At no time was our agent made aware that any goods within the property were for the use of the daughter and now we are aware, the goods have been removed from our inventory.”

Mrs Archer was threatened with a £1,200 fine after driving her daughter through a bus lane in Waterfront Way, Chatham

Mrs Archer was threatened with a £1,200 fine after driving her daughter through a bus lane in Waterfront Way, Chatham

On Tuesday Medway Council put the case on hold for a week following complaints from Mrs Archer about JBW's conduct.

A spokesman for Kent County Council confirmed that while social services cannot influence parking decisions it has made detailed representations to Medway Council confirming Ms Archer’s circumstances.

Cllr Dan Daley, for Maidstone Central, said: “The road in question is almost designed to make money. I think Medway Council have acted way out of line in this case.”

Medway Council have now confirmed that having reviewed Mrs Archer's case and the circumstances surrounding the incident they have decided to call off the bailiffs and reduce the fine.

A Medway Council spokesman said: “Mrs Archer will now only need to pay Medway Council in full the £97 outstanding. We understand that has now been paid and the matter is closed.”

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