South Tyneside widower's hospital parking fine branded 'disgraceful'

William Parkinson with the fine he received for parking at South Tyneside District Hospital.
William Parkinson with the fine he received for parking at South Tyneside District Hospital.

"Disgraceful," "terrible" and "hard to imagine".

That was your reaction to the fine imposed on widower William Parkinson after he forgot to buy a parking ticket while rushing to his dying wife's hospital bedside.

Mr Parkinson, 82, from Cleadon, whose wife, Jeanette, 80, died before he arrived, was initially fined up to £70 by Parking Eye.

He paid the bill but has been told by bosses at South Tyneside District Hospital that the money will be returned to him.

His ordeal still prompted anger from the majority of readers responding to our story on our Facebook page.

Sarah Lewis wrote: "Disgrace!!! People attending late at night/A&E are there for emergency cases and should not be expected to buy a ticket over actually getting into the hospital ASAP to being cared for!

Paul Gray added: Hard to imagine while dashing to a hospital in an emergency or a situation like this that you are having to think have I got change for the car park, but it's a fact!

"Billions pumped into the NHS ever year and they insist they 'need' the money from parking."

Michelle Havelock said: "I received one when I had a disabled badge on (dad's, and yes he was with me) but challenged it and eventually got it dropped."

Shirley Slater wrote: Disgraceful. Poor man."

Stanley Stoker added: "I know a priest who got done, for going to see a dying person."

Gloria Garland Davidson declared: "Should be no charge for parking at hospitals.".

Amanda Fay made the point: "Anyone arriving at a hospital in the middle of the night isn't going to have planned to be there and are likely to be distressed or injured.

"It's terrible that they then have to worry about parking."

Kyle Taylor said: Shouldn't have to pay for any parking when it comes to people's health/life

Lee Chow argued: "Bet all the highly paid managers and chief executives don't have to pay for parking.

But Cheryl Murphy replied: "You have to have a permit to park if you are staff and yes you pay for it regardless who you are."