‘I re­ceived a park­ing fine as rel­a­tive lay dy­ing’

Western Mail - - NEWS - MATT DISCOMBE Lo­cal democ­racy re­porter matt.discombe@waleson­line.co.uk

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

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