One man told how he drove three hours through the snow to visit his dying father and was fined £100 for parking.
David Ridsdale rushed from Nottingham to North Tees Hospital at 3am via Storm Arwen to see his father one last time – but he sadly passed away en route.
David received a call from his mother on November 27 saying that his father, 91, had been taken to the hospital after falling and going into cardiac arrest.
He immediately set out to drive to the Northeast from his home.
He told Teesside Live: “Obviously I hit the road immediately.
“The trip from my home in Nottingham usually takes about 2.5 hours, however, this was storm ‘Arwen’ night and the conditions were terrible with heavy snow and rain, and it took me over 3.5 hours to drive.
“I’ve heard from my mother since driving that my father has sadly passed away.”
Tired and distressed, he arrived at North Tees Hospital at 7 a.m. and parked in a parking lot on Hardwick Road.
Parking is right across from the hospital, but not theirs.
David explains: “When I got to the North Tees hospital, it was still dark and the weather was still bad, it was sinking.
“Not from this area, I am not familiar with hospitals or parking lots.
“I had so many things on my mind, I was worried about my elderly and very upset mother, I just parked my car in a parking lot and ran into the hospital building.”
He then sat with his father for a brief period in the hospital – before taking his mother home to grieve.
A few days later he was contacted by the car park owner, Smart Parking Ltd, who said he had been in the car park for 13 minutes without paying and for this was fined £100.
“The parking lot was empty, and to be honest, I never thought about paying,” says David.
He contacted the company and showed them his father’s death certificate – asking for free for charitable reasons.
He said: “I don’t object to me not paying. I should have paid and failed to do so, but that was purely by accident, my mind was on other things.
“I’m just begging someone to give me a break and show some compassion, the situation is special.”
But the company wrote back and said it had reviewed his appeal but “Cannot cancel the Parking Charge Notice on this basis”.
He continued: “I just feel really frustrated, frustrated and helpless.
“My faith in human nature has waned a bit, I just hope that the individual making this judgment on behalf of Smart Parking will never have to go through the same discomfort and stress as family. me and I did that day.”
David has now given in and paid the parking fine.
The Sun has reached out to Smart Parking for comment.
A spokesperson for North Tees said: “North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust offer their condolences to the family during this difficult time.
“The parking lot in question is not part of our parking regulations. It is owned and operated by a private company and as such, we have no influence on any operations. its action, fee or penalty notice.”
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/8233047/visit-dying-dad-drove-parking-fine/ I drove 3 hours in the snow to visit my dying father