A MAN who rushed his wife to hospital when she was suffering from a fit has slated the parking system there after he was slammed with a £70 fine for his efforts.
Glyn Sheppard was handed the penalty by Parking Eye after he overstayed the 20-minute ‘grace period’ which the company allows at Queen’s Hospital, as he wanted to stay with his wife to make sure she was ok.
The charge, from mid-January, has now been withdrawn, after he refused to pay, but he said he was still angered over the fact he was given the fine when he was effectively acting as an emergency ambulnace.
Mr Sheppard, of Foston Avenue, Burton, said: “I think it’s a disgrace that outside an emergency department, where people go literally at their lowest point and are panicking and just want medical assistance, there is an interest in making money.”
He argued against the automated nature of the system, which simply records the amount of time a person is parked at the site. It means there is nobody to remonstrate with in such a situation, he said.
Mrs Sheppard has suffered fits in the past, her husband said, and he was aware she suffered memory problems when they occur.
“I wanted to reassure her and stay with her in a safe place. I just parked and went in. I didn’t even see the sign. The car was right at the back of my mind.
“It’s not something I wanted to do on purpose, I didn’t want to be there at all; I had to look after my wife,” he said.
Parking Eye was installed at the Belvedere Road Hospital In October, and has caused a raft of complaints since then.
Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Queen’s, launched a review in December to tackle some of the issues which people were facing with the system, and that is due for completion soon.
The system works using automatic number plate recognition technology, which captures cars as they enter and leave the car park.
Anyone who overstays the 20-minute period will automatically receive a fine.
The trust said it was not possible to disclose the amount of fines which have been sent out since the system was first installed, as it was commercially sensitive information.