A BROMSGROVE woman has hit out after being ordered to pay £50 for losing her parking ticket at her doctor’s surgery.
Sharon Hartley, who has been recently widowed, has been left so ‘shook up’ by the incident at the Parkside Medical Centre Churchfields Surgery she feels she cannot return.
The single mum said she had pulled up into the practice’s car park and collected a ticket before going inside for her doctor’s appointment.
But, on her way to leave, she discovered she had lost her ticket.
Sharon added how she retraced her steps around the car park and inside the surgery but it was to no avail – this is when she went to the help desk to explain she had misplaced her ticket.
“I told her I was seeing the doctor regarding depression and I had become very forgetful with things in my life but to my surprise I was told I had to pay a £50 fine,” she said.
“My husband died in November 2013 and my finances were very low – I argued this case and was given no compassion whatsoever.”
Sharon said the staff could have checked the CCTV to see she had only been there half an hour and was telling the truth but they would not.
She added how she had asked for the owner’s number and to speak to them but was told she could not have it.
After more searching, Sharon approached the desk again and was told she could pay £10 and the rest later – but that was the only money she had left for food for the rest of the week.
“After me crying and getting upset they rang head office and said I could pay £3.50.
“Although there is a warning sign up, it’s small and not very noticeable.”
Andrea Williams, from Bromsgrove Healthcare Innovations – the company which owns the car park, said they would not comment on individual cases or alleged mitigating circumstances due to confidentiality rules.
She added how the charges were in place to safeguard the limited spaces and discourage people who had no business there.
“There have unfortunately been incidents when individuals have tried to circumvent parking charges by claiming a lost ticket and for this reason the fee for lost tickets is clearly displayed along with the other advertised car parking charges.
“Notwithstanding this we do try to be flexible but staff are instructed to be firm in the face of aggressive and abusive disputes over parking charges,” she added.