A DEVOTED husband is angry after being hit with a £70 parking fine after leaving his car in the grounds of Sunderland Royal Hospital after his wife was rushed in by ambulance.
Retired Kenneth Knight, who used to work at the hospital, desperately rang 999 after his wife Jean, who suffers from the serious Addison’s Disease, collapsed at their home one night earlier this month.
After being told by paramedics who arrived on the scene to follow them in his car as they took her to hospital for treatment, he arrived at the Royal and claims he was told not to worry about paying for parking by a paramedic.
Mrs Knight, 73, who gave more than 30 years service at the Royal as an operating theatre sister, was tended to for almost two hours before being allowed to be taken home by her husband.
Now, less than 10 days after the visit, Mr Knight has received a £70 fine from hospital car park regulator Parking Eye, for not paying to park his vehicle.
The firm have said that they are willing to listen to any appeals against fines they have sent on to drivers.
I’d managed to bring some of her things and medication, but with the way she was at that time, the last thing on my mind was paying for parking.Kenneth Knight
Mr Knight, 55, who worked as a operating department practicioner for 30 years, said: “My wife deteriorated as the night went on so I decided to call 999.
“The paramedics said I would be fine to park the car across from casualty, so to get a fine for £70 is unbelievable.
“I was in a right state with what happened with my wife, but I drove to the hospital carefully, even though my heart was thumping.
“I’d managed to bring some of her things and medication, but with the way she was at that time, the last thing on my mind was paying for parking.”
Thankfully, Mrs Knight has made a recovery after the incident and is now improving at the home she and her husband share in Grangetown.
“I brought her home that night and watched her,” added Mr Knight.
“The whole episode has just been a nightmare for us.”
The parking fine will cost Mr Knight £70, unless he pays it early, then it will be £40.
A ParkingEye spokeswoman said: “Car park users enter into a contract to pay the appropriate tariff for the duration of their visit, or to not exceed free parking limits.
“A parking charge becomes payable if the terms and conditions of the car park are not adhered to. In this case the car park user stayed for nearly two hours without making payment for parking.
“We operate an industry-leading audited appeals process as detailed on the parking charge notice, and encourage individuals to appeal if they feel there are extenuating circumstances.
“To date we have not received an appeal against this parking charge.
“ParkingEye is a member of the British Parking Association’s Approved Operator Scheme and is required to follow a code of practice, which is supported by motoring organisations, consumer groups and the DVLA.”