AN AMBULANCE parked in the centre of Fareham was issued with a parking ticket.
A council ticket officer charged an ambulance parked outside Argos in West Street yesterday morning.
It is believed its driver was buying refreshments in a nearby Greggs – but it is not known whether the vehicle was on-call.
Ben Trickett, who saw the incident unfold, said: ‘It was about 11.30am – the food and drinks came from the Greggs nearby.
‘The assistant did try and explain it to the traffic warden and they weren’t there for that long.’
South Central Ambulance Service confirmed the ambulance does not belong to them.
Liberal Democrat councillor Katrina Trott – whose Fareham East constituency includes West Street – said: ‘I have often seen ambulances on West Street while they are on call.
‘I would be very surprised if one of our officers dished out a ticket to an ambulance they thought was on call.
‘They must have had reason to believe it was waiting there.
‘Either way, it’s important to get this right if an appeal is submitted.’
A circulated image of the ambulance being given a ticket sparked two-sided conversation among scores of social media users.
Sharing his view on Facebook, Dave Crisp said: ‘The rules apply to everyone.
‘If they’re not on an emergency call, why should they not get a ticket?’
While user Aimee Rebecca Grantham said the team operating the ambulance should be pardoned of the fine, even if they were not on call.
She said: ‘Fair play to them I say – with the hours they work and what they do.
‘If they were stopping for food, so what?
‘Nine times out of 10 paramedics don’t even make it to the counter before getting a call. We’ve all got to eat.’
Addressing the controversy, Fareham Borough Council said it would look into the matter if the driver of the ambulance lodged an appeal for the ticket.
A spokeswoman said in a statement: ‘The vehicle was parked illegally in a goods vehicle loading bay when the parking ticket was issued.
‘If we receive an appeal showing that the vehicle was on call, then the penalty charge notice will be investigated, as with any other case.’
To join the conversation, visit portsmouth.co.uk.