A few days ago, the Evening Standard reported on a story that will incense many of our readers about private ambulances which are being targeted by parking wardens whilst they wait outside of one of London’s biggest cancer hospitals.
The fleet of private ambulances are being slapped with the extortionate £130 fixed penalty notices for daring to park in the streets surrounding the University College Hospital’s Macmillan Cancer Centre whilst they transport non-emergency patients.
Many of the patients using the transport services, are unable to make their own way to the hospital so the service being provided by the passenger transport services is vital.
However, their job is being hindered by parking wardens who appear to have lost their conscience, or, more likely, they are probably being told to put the tickets on the vehicles by bosses who, some might say, are devoid of any morals.
The ambulances which are leased by G4S are parking on double yellow lines near to the specialist unit where patients are required to attend for vital on-going treatment.
The Evening Standard reported how sources told them that G4S, the contractor used by UCLH for patient transport, have been issued with parking tickets which amount to thens of thousands of pounds.
Just where the ambulances are expected to park as they drop off sick patients is anyones guess, but 99% of people with any common sense would expect that the fining system was never intended for ambulances which are dropping off and picking up sick patients.
The firms managers told reporters from the Evening Standard that the fines are “ridiculous” and that they are devoid of any “common sense”.
A PTS Driver is also quoted by the Evening Standard as saying that:
“It’s been going on for a couple of years. They don’t let us have five minutes’ peace before they give a ticket. There’s nowhere to put vehicles.
“We get three or four a day on ambulances. The late shift park up and come back the next day with a ticket.”
The driver went on to tell the Evening Standard that: “Often we have to park outside and help the patients in wheelchairs get to their appointments and then come back outside to find a new ticket.
“They are vulnerable people and some are at the end of their lives. It’s ridiculous.”
Whilst emergency vehicles are exempt from any laws relating to vehicles which park on double yellow lines, there appears to be a gapping hole in the law when it comes to Passenger Transport Ambulances which have to park as close to as possible to the hospitals which they are conveying their passengers to.
G4S transport services managing director Russell Hobbs told the Evening Standard that its vehicles “provide a vital service” and it was essential their ambulances can park close to the hospital.
Many patients who take advantage of the transport services cannot use the London Underground network owing to the fact that their immune systems are weakened whilst undergoing chemotherapy and other associated treatments.
Camden council employ the parking wardens through a third party firm in order to enforce parking restrictions and told the Evening Standard that it has asked the hospital and G4S to discuss how they can “maintain access and park non-emergency vehicles in permitted areas”.
But surely it should never have come to this in the first place?
It would seem that these ambulance are just ‘fair game’ when it comes to issuing the vehicles with what many would consider to be extortionate parking fines.
Surely parking restrictions are there to ensure that members of the public do not park on double yellow lines, but just how this sentiment seems to have included ambulances which are conveying sick patients to-and-from hospital will leave many people feeling angry and frustrated.
Written by one of the many admins of Emergency Services Humour who is also a regular blogger in our fortnightly eMagazine ’S__ts & Giggles’ which you can sign up to by visiting our Facebook page and clicking on the ‘sign up’ button or by visiting: ShitsAndGiggles.Online
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Featured Image Credit: Jeremy Selwyn / Evening Standard