A bloke who says he spent 11 stressful minutes trying to pay for car parking without success has been hit with a £60 fine.
James Murphy attempted to pay by contactless, phone and an app at the Wythenshawe Hospital car park in Manchester but found his efforts to be in vain, reports NottinghamshireLive.
The 37-year-old, who was recently diagnosed with Crohn's disease, then drove off to find someone else to park on the hospital grounds as he needed to make the appointment to receive his treatment.
To his shock, he discovered two weeks later that he had been issued with a £60 charge — because of the 11 minutes he spent trying to get the parking system to work.
Mr Murphy said: “I basically said to them, I will not be paying the fine, if you want to take me to court you’re welcome to do that. I didn’t even use their services, effectively!”
“If I were vulnerable I would probably stress to hell and it could cause further health problems, especially if someone has got a condition, so I think it is disgusting behaviour. It’s shocking.
"It’s not just for me, it’s the principle, they’ll do it to someone else, and I’m furious. Especially now, during the cost of living crisis, £60 is a lifesaver for some people, so it’s disgusting that they even think they can try it.”
He was however keen to offer his praise for Wythenshawe hospital itself, saying their treatment is "exceptional".
Responding to Mr Murphy's complaint, a representative for operator Vehicle Control Services Ltd told NottinghamshireLive that the site worked on an automatic ANPR system, which automatically takes a photograph of a car number plate after 10 minutes.
They said that the payment had failed because his bank had declined the transaction, and added: "Had Mr Murphy rang our helpline number, as advertised on our signs, at the time he had difficulties the result could have been different.
"It is not unreasonable for Mr Murphy to have considered bringing cash with him knowing he had a pre-planned appointment at a hospital and would need to make use of the chargeable car parks in close proximity.
"This incident may serve to highlight to readers (motorists) the importance of contacting an operators helpline where they experience issues in purchasing the parking tariff."
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