Pregnant mum told to 'waddle faster' to avoid parking fine in Purley
A HEAVILY pregnant woman was reduced to tears by a traffic warden who laughed in her face and told her to "waddle faster" before slapping a ticket on her windscreen.
Outraged 25-year-old Adel Charles – due to give birth on Friday – parked her BMW 330 opposite Purley clinic and paid for an hour's parking for her final pre-birth check-up.
But after returning four minutes late following the longer-than-expected appointment, the Purley mother spotted a warden by her car poised to issue a fine.
Miss Charles, of Selcroft Road, said: "I came out of the clinic and saw him at my car and waddled over as fast as I could.
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"When I got there I pleaded with him not to give me a ticket. He could see I was pregnant. I said to him, 'You could see me waddling over as fast as I could', and he just said, 'You should have waddled faster'.
"Then he just chuckled and drove off on his moped. That's when I started crying."
Croydon Council has responded by confirming that an investigation will now be launched.
The mother of one added: "It's disgusting. I understand they have a job to do and I wouldn't have argued if I was 20 minutes over, but as I understand it they are supposed to give you a five-minute discretionary period.
"I hope they feel ashamed of themselves. If he'd a shred of decency he wouldn't have given me a ticket.
"It was hard to tell how long I would be in the clinic, it only usually takes 20 minutes so I got the hour's parking to cover myself.
"And then being given this ticket and told to waddle faster, it's just very insulting, it's derogatory really, to use the word 'waddle' and then have it used back against me.
"You expect people to have a bit more common decency. I think it's an absolute joke. It just makes you have no faith in Croydon at all. They are ruthless."
Miss Charles's ticket shows she was due back at 11.06am in Whytecliffe Road North last Thursday and was observed by the warden at 11.10am.
The account executive, who has had complications during her pregnancy, was told by the clinic that her baby was "not engaging" after having blood pressure and the baby's heartbeat monitored.
"It was a huge setback and the ticket just added insult to injury," she added.
She will now appeal against the £30 fine but knows her chances are slim as only 0.2 per cent of fines handed out last year were successfully overturned.
Last week the Advertiser reported how drivers are being fined the equivalent of £16,113 a day by the council, generating a whopping £5.8 million revenue – up £300,000 on the previous year.
A spokesman for the local authority said: "The question of the civil enforcement officer's handling of the situation will be investigated."