Sidmouth dad gets hospital parking fine - because of wrong digit

PUBLISHED: 11:00 22 March 2016 | UPDATED: 17:31 22 March 2016

Manstone Avenue resident Tim Hammond with the parking notice he received at the RD and E. Ref shs 11-16SH 7711. Picture: Simon Horn

Manstone Avenue resident Tim Hammond with the parking notice he received at the RD and E. Ref shs 11-16SH 7711. Picture: Simon Horn

Archant

A father-of-four has blasted a parking provider for its lack of compassion after he was given a ticket on the day his stepson was rushed to hospital.

Indigo Park Services UK Limited threatened Tim Hammond (pictured) with legal action if he did not pay the £84 fine - all because he got one digit wrong filling out an exemption form.

However, after being contacted by the Herald this week, the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (RD&E) has said it would have ‘no hesitation’ to cancel the charge.

The Manstone Avenue resident drove to the hospital on Monday, January 25, after his 13-year-old stepson Coner was taken there by ambulance. He paid to park the family’s Vauxhall Corsa for two hours and was told by staff he could complete an exemption form for the duration of Coner’s stay.

The 34-year-old said, due to the stress of the situation, he put down the wrong registration number and when he returned to the car later that afternoon the ticket had been issued.

Mr Hammond said: “I sent them an email explaining the situation. It was a very stressful situation for me, which was probably part of the reason why I got the number wrong. It would be obvious it was my car, it was just one digit out.

“I said to my missus when it came through, once they hear the circumstances, nobody will have any issue voiding it.”

Following a series of emails with PCN Admin Centre, an agent for Indigo, Mr Hammond was told there was ‘sufficient evidence’ to pursue the claim - which would be passed on to solicitors if it remained unpaid.

An RD&E spokesman told the Herald as it went to press that the hospital had its own appeal panel and it would be happy to speak to Mr Hammond.

The spokesman added: “Where a parking charge notice has been issued and it is the belief of the vehicle owner that it has been issued incorrectly, there is an appeals process provided to resolve any dispute. In this instance the RD&E has not received an appeal, however, in circumstances such as this, there would be no hesitation in cancelling this parking charge notice once an appeal has been raised.”

Mr Hammond said: “It’s not about the money - £80 is not going to break the bank.

“It’s the principle of it. It’s the lack of compassion for someone who was in a bit of a rubbish situation and not being able to see past the black and white of the situation.”

The Herald contacted Indigo Park Services UK Limited, but nobody was available for comment.


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