Victory for driver as hospital parking fine cancelled after appeal

A motorist fined after spending just 15 minutes in a car park to charge his electric vehicle while visiting his sick father has had it thrown out after an appeal.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 20th January 2020, 1:04 pm
Paul Blakey's Parking Eye fine has been cancelled.

Paul Blakey parked his car at Sunderland Royal Hospital where his dad, who had suffered an acute stroke, was being treated.

The 47-year-old, of Jarrow, then used the Charge Your Car app to find the nearest charging station after those in the hospital were all taken.

He followed the navigation to a nearby car park where there was a station available to use, and presumed that this car park was part of the hospital.

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Paul Blakey and wife Sam appealed the fine.

It instead belonged to the Pallion Health Centre.

After around 15 minutes of trying to charge up, he left the car park as the stations weren’t working.

Paul then received a penalty charge notice from ParkingEye despite having paid £10 for a weekly ticket for Sunderland Royal Hospital with the company.

The incident took place on Thursday, July 25, 2019.

Paul’s dad didn’t recover from his stroke – and both he and his wife, Sam Blakey, 40, were so distressed by the parking charge that they launched an appeal.

A ParkingEye spokesperson added in a statement: “The PCN (penalty charge notice) has been cancelled. From our end the case is now closed.”

The parking fine began at a minimum of £60, if paid within a certain time period, but could have gone up to £100.

Sam has spoken of the couple’s relief following the outcome of the appeal, and said: “We are greatly relieved that the ordeal is over and thank NHS Property Services for their help.

“Regarding ParkingEye, we still feel aggrieved by the lack of compassion we received from them.

“It would have been nice to have been able to speak to them directly by telephone rather than receive news by emails.”

At the time of the appeal, Sam added that she and her husband “had never not paid” for parking – and would have understood receiving a fine if they had parked illegally.