Three motorists across the News & Mail patch have criticised parking wardens after they were each stung with hefty fines, with one claiming a warden showed a lack of ‘moral judgement’.
Virgin Care community nurse Victoria Leeves-Kimber was forced to shell out £100 after exhausting a four-month appeal process with KMG Security Services and POPLA – the Parking on Private Land Appeals organisation.
On February 21, Ms Leeves-Kimber, of Elvetham Heath, dashed to Abbey Court, in Camberley, when responding to an ‘emergency’ call, parked up and was able to assist the patient.
But when she returned to her car less than 10 minutes later, she was appalled to find a parking ticket despite displaying her Virgin Care ‘on-call’ ID.
“I was absolutely gobsmacked,” the 24-year-old said. “I caught the attendant taking a picture of my car just after he’d issued me with the notice. Not only did he show a complete lack of moral judgement, he was also incredibly rude to me.
“My first concern is for my patient. This was an emergency situation. If I had wasted precious minutes sorting out parking, it could have ended very differently.”
However, a spokesman for KMG said the visit was not an emergency.
He said: “While we do everything we can, anyone who does not tell us or displays a permit, increases their risk of getting a ticket.
“Nurses visit Abbey Court all of the time. It was not an emergency, it was a regular visit. If it was an emergency we would be far more flexible. People should pop a note in their car window or contact us with how long they are going to be.”
Maurice Naylor, from Tongham, received a parking fine on June 3 after attending a funeral at Saint Augustine’s Church, in Aldershot, and he too faces a £100 fine.
The roads near the church were busy with 400 people attending the funeral, so he parked at The Range Alder-shot for around two hours.
Mr Naylor said he visited the store and bought goods before going to the funeral, and left them on the front seat of his car to prove he was a customer.
He said: “I have tried to appeal the fine and I attached the receipt of my goods but apparently it was not enough. I have been asked to provide more information but there is nothing else I can give.
“I have since spoken to a traffic warden and he said if I had parked on the road I would have faced a £70 fine, reduced to £35 if I had paid within 14 days.”
On May 30, Church Crookham resident David Nicholls went to give blood at the Harlington Centre in Fleet. He parked in the centre’s car park and placed a complimentary two-hour permit from the council on his dashboard.
When he returned one hour later, he was similarly shocked to find he had been issued a parking ticket, later learning the permit was valid only for nearby Victoria Road car park.
He said the permit itself did not state which car park it was for, while a letter from the blood donation service alluded to it in an additional note rather than in the main body of the letter.
“I cannot comprehend this – it makes no sense at all,” he said. “I wonder how many people would give up giving blood if they all got treated like this?”
A spokesman for Hart District Council said: “Parking concessions are given to the blood donation service free of charge for one hour parking, and it has been running successfully for many years without any issues. People using these passes were instructed by the letter issued to them from the blood donation service, that they were to be used in Victoria Road car park.
“We will work with the blood donation service to provide better signage for the next time they run a service in this area.”