Couple with newborn baby fined for using Gosport War Memorial car park - despite buying a ticket

A COUPLE taking their newborn son to a hospital appointment have been left outraged by a debt company demanding £100 for a parking fine - despite proving they bought a parking ticket.

Monday, 7th October 2019, 12:06 pm
Updated Monday, 7th October 2019, 6:54 pm

Michelle and Mathew Farmer, from Titchfield, parked in the Gosport War Memorial Hospital car park before buying and displaying a parking ticket on Thursday March 7.

But after the appointment to check their nine-day-old son for jaundice, they returned to their car to discover they had been issued a parking fine of £40.

Delivery driver Mathew said: 'I couldn't believe it.

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Michelle Farmer was issued a parking fine at Gosport War Memorial Hospital on March 7, for a check-up on her son Zachary, who was nine days old at the time . Picture: Sarah Standing (031019-8571)

'We displayed the ticket in the dashboard, but it must have blown off into the footwell of the car – it was a really windy day.

'We drove around and found a traffic warden and showed him the ticket. But he said we'd have to appeal.'

The couple followed the warden's advice seven days later, sending a picture of their ticket and their fine to Car Park Management, which operates the pay-and-display service.

But they received a letter rejecting their appeal because their ticket had not been on display.

Michelle had paid and displayed a ticket to use the car park at Gosport War Memorial Hospital, but only realised the ticket had blown off the dashboard into the footwell on her return.

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A spokesman from UK Car Park Management Ltd said: ‘It is clearly set out in the terms of parking that pay and display tickets must be clearly displayed.

‘Unfortunately, later supplying evidence of the pay and display ticket is not a valid reason for the appeal to be upheld.

‘The appellant was given a further 14 days from the date of their rejection email to take advantage of a reduced fee.’

The spokesman said a ‘common reason’ for rejecting appeals was because tickets had been ‘blown off the dashboard.’

But Mathew has questioned why the parking company does not make it easier to display the tickets. He said: ‘Why don't they have a sticky side so they are easier to display?’

Michelle said the couple’s ‘busy family life’ meant they were side-tracked from taking their appeal further or paying the fine – before receiving a letter last month from debt recovery company, giving the family until last Friday to pay £100.

Michelle added: ‘It makes me feel mad. It was for a hospital visit and it’s not like I went over the time. They should be more lenient.’