Hospital Patient Handed Parking Fine After Trying To Work Out How To Pay
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A hospital patient has claimed he was slapped with a fine for standing in a car park while trying to figure out how to pay.
James Murphy has slammed the 'predatory' parking company after he received a fine for staying in a car park next to Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester for just 11 minutes while he simply tried to pay.
The 37-year-old, who suffers from Crohn's disease, explained how he tried to park in the Floats Road car park after he couldn’t find a space in the main hospital.
Mr Murphy was in a hurry to get to his crucial appointment, which helps treat his condition, and although he tried to pay for his parking spot three times, he was ultimately unsuccessful.
He then left and eventually found a spot in another part of the hospital car park, but has since been slapped with a £60 fine for the 11 minutes he spent at Floats Road.
Mr Murphy says he was stunned over receiving the fine and is 'astonished that they think they can get away with it'.
"I’ve recently been diagnosed with Crohn's disease, and I had to go to this appointment, it was an important one to deal with the disease," he told the Manchester Evening News.
"There’s a number of car parks at Wythenshawe Hospital, but they’re often very busy and there’s quite a lot of people vying for space."
Mr Murphy explained how he was in 'panic mode' when he pulled into Floats Road car park over worries of him missing his appointment.
He said after realising he didn't have any cash on hand, he looked for a contactless device, which the machine did not have. After this, he called a number displayed on the side of the machine.
"I called them up, I gave them all the details and then it came through to payment. I thought that everything had gone okay but then it said there was a problem.
He then tried calling the number a second time and was met with the same result, which is what prompted him to install an app.
"I had now been there for five or six minutes. I installed the app, I had to sign up and register and then put in payment details, and then by that time it had also failed on the app.
"I just thought 'oh I’ve not got time for this I’m going to leave', so that was after about 11 minutes, I left and went round the corner."
Mr Murphy eventually found a spot in a different area and made it to his appointment, however, a couple of weeks later he received a letter telling him he needed to pay a £60 fine for his short stay in the car park.
"I said right, well I’ll dispute it - I’m sure everything will be fine. So I went online and told them what happened," he explained.
But he then got a second letter telling him his appeal had failed, with it reading: “The signs at the car park make it clear that a valid ticket must be purchased for all vehicles which park/enter the car park.”
The letter says Mr Murphy can appeal the charge further but if this is rejected, his fine will increase to £100.
"I think this is predatory behaviour and they’re expecting me to just pay up, which isn’t going to happen," he said of the outcome. "I will be fighting it in court if I have to fight it in court. I’ll basically embarrass them because I think it’s absolutely disgraceful.
"If I were vulnerable I would probably stress to hell and it could cause further health problems, especially if someone has got a condition, so I think it is disgusting behaviour.
"It’s not just for me, it’s the principle, they’ll do it to someone else, and I’m furious. Especially now, during the cost of living crisis, £60 is a lifesaver for some people, so it’s disgusting that they even think they can try it."
Mr Murphy was keen to praise Wythenshawe Hospital, however, saying their treatment is 'exceptional'.
In a statement to the Manchester Evening News, a representative for Vehicle Control Services Ltd said: "The Floats Road Car Park in Wythenshawe is operated by Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras. Our signs on site clearly advise 'after a vehicle has entered the car park a maximum of 10 minutes is allowed to purchase a valid ticket or make payment'.
"Having reviewed Mr Murphy’s Connect Cashless account we have been able to confirm that it was his bank who had declined the transaction, most likely due to the new 3D Secure transaction requirements (an additional security protocol) introduced by banks around that time.
"Had Mr Murphy rang our helpline number, as advertised on our signs, at the time he had difficulties the result could have been different."
LADbible has reached out to Vehicle Control Services Ltd for comment.