Carlisle amputee teen hit with SECOND hospital parking ticket

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Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle
Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle

The mum of a teenager who lost part of his leg following a crash, have been hit with a second parking ticket while taking him for physio at Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary.

Michael Johnstone, 16, was struck by a car while walking with a group of friends along the city's Dalston Road at the end of January. His injuries were so serious doctors had to amputate.

He now has to visit the disablement services centre at the hospital at least twice a week as part of his rehabilitation.

His parents Ali and Mike, of Manor Road, Upperby, have been driving him to the appointments. Although they had applied for a blue badge disabled parking permit, it had not arrived until this weekend.

They first received a ticket from private firm UK Parking Control (UKPC), who police the infirmary site, two weeks ago.

That time they parked in a disabled space and tried to explain the situation, but were told they would still get a ticket. They moved the car, but accidentally parked in a permit holder's space.

They appealed and, after the News & Star intervened, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the infirmary, said it would cancel the ticket.

It also said it would work with its Private Finance Initiative (PFI) partner Interserve, which is responsible for the car park, and UKPC to avoid similar situations in future.

But now the Johnstone family have received a second ticket for parking in a disabled bay - despite displaying a clear note and paying for a parking ticket. Mrs Johnstone said she was incredibly angry.

"We were there again last week and the only space available outside the disablement centre was a disabled bay," she said.

"We had no choice but to park there. He can't walk and it's too far to push him from the main car parks. It's right at the back of the hospital.

"I put a big note on the car and even paid for a ticket. When we came out we had another penalty charge."

 Michael Johnstone

Michael Johnstone

Mrs Johnstone said she tried to reason with the parking attendant, who said she had broken the rules.

"He said anyone could have written a note like that, but they know who we are. It was just after the story was in the paper too.

"He could have come in and checked if he wasn't sure. It was right outside. We'd applied for the blue badge, it just hadn't arrived," she said.

Again, after being contacted by the News & Star, the hospital trust agreed to rescind the fine.

A spokeswoman for North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The trust would like to apologise for any distress caused to the Johnstone family and we would like to confirm that the parking charge they have received will be rescinded.

"UKPC have to follow an agreed protocol and therefore it is important to highlight that hand-written notes cannot be recognised, however if anybody feels they have received a parking charge unfairly, this will be reviewed as per the appeals process in place.

"The trust is continuing to work with our PFI partner to look at ways of making further improvements to our car parking systems and processes.”

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Keith   Dixon , Whitby Thursday, 16 March, 2017 at 12:53PM
"Broke the rules" so given a fine. Latter-day officials must have some lattitude, some discretion. Hospital cancelling the ticket still leaves victims subjected to stress which UKPC could so easily avoid in the first place, which amounts to bullying. A business model to shame the "caring NHS".
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Ted   Email , Carlisle Thursday, 16 March, 2017 at 9:14AM
It sounds very much like it is time for these "Parking Attendants" to be taught how to work out who is blatantly parking in the Infirmary grounds against "their regulations" - and those who have "other priorities on their mind and are trying to make sure they don't incur extra problems for themselves on top of what they are already enduring." In other words - these parking attendants need training on what used to be called "common sense". I would be willing to organise the training course if they wanted.
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P   Doff , Carlisle Wednesday, 15 March, 2017 at 5:20PM
Disgusting attitude. PFI is a license to print money - thank you Tony Bliar for your legacy.
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Steven   A , Carlisle Wednesday, 15 March, 2017 at 4:21PM
So the headline should read 'CIC cancels parking ticket after patient parking error'. The parking attendant was doing his job and doing it well. The parking at the hospital was awful before they were employed to get it under control. Well done CIC and yet again the News and Star should be embarrassed about a headline having a go at the hospital!
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