Disabled driver fined £60 for stopping to clean windscreen at hospital
- Credit: Richard Fleming/ NPE
An 81-year-old disabled former police officer has criticised the "relentlessness" of National Parking Enforcement (NPE) after he was fined £60 for stopping to clean his windscreen following a hospital appointment.
Richard Fleming, from Sprowston, left his appointment at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital around 4.30pm on April 29. He then "went for a drive" around the hospital grounds with his partner to see how things had changed in the year since his last visit.
Thinking it would be unproblematic to stop on a "completely dead" NNUH private roadway for five minutes to clear his windscreen of bird droppings, he was incredulous to find he'd been hit with £60 parking notice from NPE as a result.
A spokesperson for the company said Mr Fleming had received the fine for contravening the Highway Code by parking opposite or within 10 metres of a junction and within 20 metres before or 10 metres after a pedestrian crossing.
They added: "Whilst the car park where the driver parked and exited the vehicle was not in use, the pedestrian crossing is in use.
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"We are surprised the driver chose not to have their appeal independently adjudicated as offered by ourselves, but called the EDP instead.
"The driver has subsequently paid the notice."
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But Mr Fleming said: "I did appeal the fine first and pleaded with NPE to be considerate, but it was denied. They are being relentless about it.
"There wasn't a single person or single car which came near the road during that time. I have a blue badge, so I could have found a disabled spot and parked up to clean the screen.
"The truth is I didn't see the 'no stopping' sign, and at the time didn't see an issue with stopping for a few minutes on a road which clearly wasn't in use. To me, where I stopped seemed convenient.
"I've since been back and can now see the no stopping signs - but that's only because I was specifically looking for them."
Mr Fleming, who was a police officer for 30 years, said he has never had any run-ins with NPE before and was surprised by its inflexiblity.
In recent years he has had multiple forms of cancer, preceded by an aneurism in 1997.
"I've been charged over £10 a minute simply for washing my window after a hospital appointment. It's ridiculous."