Hopton couple fall foul of parking fines at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn

Mary Brown and Alfred Bindley of Hopton were given an £80 fine from the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Kings Lynn.
There were no parking spaces anywhere in the car park and had no choice but to park in disabled bay. 

Picture: James Bass Mary Brown and Alfred Bindley of Hopton were given an £80 fine from the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Kings Lynn. There were no parking spaces anywhere in the car park and had no choice but to park in disabled bay. Picture: James Bass

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
10:03 AM

An elderly couple slapped with an £80 fine after they “had no choice” but to park in a disabled bay at a Norfolk hospital have spoken out against the penalty.

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Mary Brown and Alfred Bindley, of Potters Drive, Hopton, drove 70 miles after receiving an early morning phone call telling them Mr Bindley’s sister, Josie, had been taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn after suffering a stroke.

On arrival, they could not find a space in the packed car park. Ms Brown described the scene as “bedlam” with vehicles squeezing into every available space. The couple, who are both in their 80s, eventually parked in a disabled bay. When they could not find a car park attendant, they purchased a ticket. On their return to the car they found a parking enforcement notice fixed to the windscreen.

They appealed but were turned down and have now paid the £80 fine.

Ms Brown, who believes many people may have found themselves in a similar situation, branded the decision unfair.

She said: “The car park was bedlam. It wasn’t just the cars already there, it was the traffic still coming in. I don’t want to sound like I am making excuses but we felt we had no choice.

“Josie just about recognised us when we got there and the staff were wonderful. We stayed for an hour because the doctors were there and she needed treatment.”

Mr Bindley’s sister is now recovering at home. But the fine has added to the couple’s distress.

“It was quite a shock when we got the letter saying the appeal had been turned down,” said Ms Brown.

“The letter was quite frightening. It said if we didn’t pay it we could go to court. We’d already said that if we got the money back we would donate it to charity.”

County Parking, which runs parking enforcement for the Queen Elizabeth, told the couple signs “clearly state” the rules and designated disabled bays are reserved solely for Blue Badge holders.

The hospital operates its own car park and last year the income from parking was £721,532, approximately the annual cost of running one hospital ward.

Parking is free to dialysis patients, those using the Macmillan Centre and Blue Badge holders.

Have you fallen foul of hospital parking fines? Email lauren.rogers@archant.co.uk

21 comments

  • Plenty of disabled places wherever I seem to go. Nothing to moan about I'm afraid Thumper327. On the other hand the people making money out of 'car park fines' are disgusting.

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    Parsnip

    Sunday, September 7, 2014

  • Well I'm sorry they couldn't find a space but welcome to the world of being disabled! Not old or frail but disabled! I can not park in an ordinary space because my electric wheelchair comes out of the side door of our car so I need the space to get my chair out. They knew it was a disabled space. I've had my son in hospital rushing back to him after getting his stuff from home and can't get a space. Those spaces are there for a reason and they abused the rules and so have a find for it, sorry but if everyone put a sob story then the rules would mean nothing. The Norfolk and Norwich hospital is a nightmare! If you want to use my space then have my disability too!

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    thumper327

    Friday, September 5, 2014

  • It's obvious that some people commenting do not face the daily struggle to find a disabled space. I would love to turn up somewhere and find lots of empty disabled spaces. This is not a money issue. Those bays are there for a reason, not a convenience for those who think it's ok to use them just because there happens to be one empty. How did Mr Brindley know that the car behind him was not someone in the same position as him and could not walk across a large car park? The statement that no one complained about being disabled and not being able to park, how do you know no one complained? The truth is probably they didn't, this happens so often to the disabled and frequently there is no one to complain to, that they don't, they either try to find somewhere out of the way to wait and see if one comes empty, or they just give up and go home. This may be a non event story to those who do not need these spaces but for those that do it is good that this story was published. Maybe some of those that use these spaces just because they are convenient at the time will think twice if they could face a hefty fine. As for 39 weeks pregnant women needing a disabled space, I think they will have their problem solved pretty quickly. Disabled people don't have that solution. Try walking in their shoes for a week or two and you might just realise how important these spaces are to those that really need them.

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    GDL

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Well actually Daisy as someone who has frequently in the past taken disabled people to the N&N using their blue badges, I would not be at all surprised if most if not all of the disabled bays were occupied. Funnily enough, for some reason, hospitals tend to have a higher ratio of disabled to able-bodied users than the general population. You're just another whining motorist.

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    Cyril the Canary

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • To DaisyRoots .... There's nothing wrong in spaces being occupied by cars where the badge holders were not the driver. My mother is 90, disabled and a blue badge holder. She has never driven a car in her life and I am her driver when she needs to visit hospital etc. Unless you mean people using a blue badge when they don't have a disabled badge holder with them.

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    samphirelover

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • "Mobility challenged". That's the first time I've been called that.

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    steve

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Yet again, the EDP try to make headlines out of a story that is a non-event. The world is going mad and all they want to report on is trivia like this. The world doesn't start and stop in Norfolk. I could apply this comment to the majority of "stories" on here. Shameful.

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    Toxteth O'Grady

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Could not agree more Daisy Roots

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    turnover

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • The QE2 car park, like the QE2 hospital in general, is a shambles and a disgrace. Anyone with a trace of common sense would have pay on exit like the James Paget. Plus, despite Cyril's whine about disabled spaces I would wager some of those were empty and that some were occupied by cars where the badge holder was not the driver. There is always a surfeit of parking places for the mobility challenged who have blue badges whilst those with other disabilities or the 39 weeks pregnant or the elderly can go hang. Everything in this country seems to be run by half wits and the greedy these days.

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    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Cyril the Canary. Mr Bindley problem about parking is a fact, your statement is just supposition as no one complain about being disabled and not being able to park on that day.

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    turnover

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • So turnover, how would you feel if it turned out, on the same day, a disabled person failed to get to see their relative before they died because some inconsiderate able bodied person had taken the only available disabled space?

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    Cyril the Canary

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Some facts for you all. County parking enforcement agency ltd. Cash in Bank £1,095, Net worth £-12,446, Assets £60,000, Liabilities £ 79,454. Run by a father & daughter called the Powell's, with Martin G Clarke & co ltd being the company secretary. The old man has been a director of 8 dissolved companies, and the daughter has been a director of 5 dissolved companies. This information says everything, turnover.

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    "V"

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • I feel sorry for Mr Bindley, he gets a call saying his Sister has had a stroke, drives 70 mile only to find he can not find a parking space and he is in a distressed state, what does he do now, go home ! Mr Bindley does not know what the situation is with his Sister. If Mr Bindley Sister had not removed from the Stroke he would not have seen his Sister before she died, just because of a parking space, Have some Heart. County Parking should have checked with the Hospital and cancelled the notice, but no it is money to them and they do not care how they get it.

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    turnover

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • I agree that the level of the charge is excessive I have to ask where does the line get drawn? If there are no rules then the parking becomes a free for all. Inconsiderate parking will be the order of the day and I dare say each and every one of them will have plausable excuse. BTW, insofar as ignoring the letters from these parking companies, just be a little careful of that as they can sue you through the courts. When you park at a hospital you enter into a contract which will include not parking in disabled bays. By parking in said bay constitutes a breach of contract for which the remedy is civil action... It can and does happen!

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    Tootyfrooty

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • I have had dealings with these people at the same hospital, you get about 8 nasty threatening letters from them, if you ignore them after about four months they go away…and correct it’s a charge not a fine they are very different..! They should not have paid. The hospital should have the same system as the Norfolk & Norwich…pay as you leave.

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    MickB1

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • for clarity this is not a FINE only the police or local council can fine you this is whats known as a PARKING CHARGE operated by a private company otherwise known as a cowboy. they have no legal rights to fine and will go away after 5-6 threatening letters. go to money saving expert consumer action group websites and type in the name of the parking company and you shall be enlightened.

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    Keith Driscoll

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • There is no excuse for parking in a disabled bay, if you are not disabled. Problem is the number of disabled bays in any car park has to be a % of total spaces. This % is far to high and is why most disabled bays are empty all the time. The % of disabled bays should be the same as the % of disabled drivers compared to others, rather than the current %.

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    DaveG

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Of course they had a choice and they decided to break the rules!

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    Norfolk John

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Whilst agreeing that people cannot just park in disabled spaces, I think the amount of the fine is far too steep. Car thieves and tax dodgers often get let off with a warning by magistrates which appears to make this couple "bigger criminals" and that doesn't seem right..

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    Sandy.L

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Parking at hospitals can be very frustrating. But they knew they were parking in a space that they were not entitled to use. So why are they surprised that they have received a fine? By blocking that space a disabled person may have had to abandon an important visit to the hospital.

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    Cyril the Canary

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • I'm very sorry for this couple but there has to be some rules - it's bad enough anyway for parking anywhere even with rules that a significant minority ignore (eg disabled parking areas). England is a small overpopulated country with an increasing population, for all sorts or reasons, and an inadequate road network and or too many cars, so where are we going to get extra car-parking space? On the other hand we have a significant minority of the population that takes no personal responsibility for its health, our hospitals are full and however much money is thrown at the NHS it's never enough, so how do hospitals fund themselves; do we all pay more fuel, road or general tax or whatever? I don't know the answer, I'm seventy and do know it can be a nightmare driving around the country and sometimes finding somewhere to park; I don't park in restricted zones.

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    wallywalnut

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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