A parking firm that slapped an ambulance with a ticket as been suspended from carrying out patrols.
The warden divided opinion after sparking outrage when he issued the emergency vehicle with a ticket as paramedics ran into a Tesco to grab a bottle of water on their first break in eight hours.
And now the Sun has reported that the firm which owns the car park outside the supermarket – London and Cambridge Properties (LCP) – employs Euro Parking Services to manage the land for them.
It seems the powers that be at London and Cambridge Properties are not best pleased – in fact, they’ve suspended patrols and enforcement in the car park, saying they were ‘very disappointed’ afternmembers of the emergency services had ‘an issue’ with a parking officer.
Euro Parking has also issued an apology and said the ticket should never have been issued in the first place.
The company says it has also personally apologised to the ambulance team and will be making a donation to their charity as a gesture of goodwill.
But it seems the parking company might not be completely at fault – maybe it just needs to brush up on the way it handles these things.
The University of Law has provided insight into the legal side of the matter. Aruna Verma, GDL & MA Law Programme & Student Lead at The University of Law, said: “Emergency service vehicles are allowed to park on double yellow lines when they are on duty answering a call.
“The key issue in this case is the interpretation of when emergency crew are on duty. Ultimately it will be up to the parking enforcement authority to decide whether or not to get a ticket, and they have a discretion particularly in situations where an emergency vehicle is stopped in the course of duty although not actually answering an emergency call at the time.”
The ambulance was parked on double yellow lines outside the Tesco Express store in Northwich, Cheshire, on Tuesday when the row began.
The staff had nipped inside the store to grab some water but the video, which was filmed by Ian French, shows that the warden was taking no prisoners.
Ian tried to reason with the warden by telling him that the paramedics were on call but he responded: “They are getting some food, so they are not on call, are they?” He then asked: “Where are the sirens? Where are the sirens?”
The witness claimed that the young parking attendant said he was ‘proud’ of issuing the ticket.
A LCP spokesperson said: “LCP supports all of our emergency services, and their staff and vehicles are regular visitors to our shopping centres and retail parades across the UK, where they are always welcome.
“On this occasion, we do not agree with the parking officer’s interpretation of the parking restrictions relating to emergency vehicles. A full review of the EPS contract will be undertaken at this site.
“In the meantime all enforcement and patrols at Kingsmead Square have been stopped and EPS will not be visiting site again pending completion of the review.”
Adrian Nesbitt, HR manager for Euro Parking Services, added: “It is a mistake on our part, we will contact the ambulance service to offer our apologies and put together a full training package to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“The ambulance service is very important to our community, we don’t want to hinder them and we’re very saddened by the situation.”