‘I received a parking fine as relative lay dying’
ADISTRESSED man visiting his dying relative in hospital has criticised a private parking company for giving him a £70 fine.
Philip Samuel had been visiting his father-in-law, Ivor Short, at University Hospital Llandough with his family during Mr Short’s final days when he was given the fine earlier this month.
The fine was issued after Mr Samuel stayed 29 minutes beyond the four-hour parking limit on Friday, May 11 – two days before Mr Short died aged 89 from dementia and pneumonia.
Parking Eye, the company which manages the hospital car park, said it has now cancelled the fine.
But Mr Samuel said the parking fine came at a distressing time when his relative was gravely ill, and that he could not contact Parking Eye by phone to explain the situation.
He sent an appeal by email and an official complaint to the NHS.
He said: “I did break the rules, but you can’t contact Parking Eye.
“Cardiff and Vale Health Board took no responsibility for it – they said to appeal with Parking Eye. They wouldn’t get involved. Should you be employing a company you can’t contact by phone?
“How many people are paying these fines because of the stress of funeral arrangements?”
Parking Eye said all appeals have to be made in writing and that it is unable to accept them over the phone.
The company also says people can speak to an operator through its automated payment line within office hours if they follow a number of steps.
Parking Eye will also run the car park at the University Hospital of Wales from June 5.
Free parking is available at both sites for four hours, but if drivers stay any longer they could face fines of £70, reduced to £40 if paid within 14 days.
Drivers needing more than four hours’ parking can avoid fines by registering their vehicle at an on-site terminal before leaving the site.
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said it is unable to comment on the Parking Eye process.
Parking Eye said it has written to Mr Samuel explaining that his fine had been cancelled.
A spokeswoman said: “All appeals need to be made in writing for audit purposes by post or via the online appeals form. Parking Eye is unable to accept appeals via the telephone.”
> Llandough Hospital and inset, Ivor Short, who died at the age of 89