SCROOGE car park bosses have refused to withdraw a clamping fine against a woman who was late back to her car because she was helping a friend whose child had had a fit.
Joanne Trimble had parked in Liscard's Cherry Tree Shopping Centre car park to do some Christmas shopping with her friend Angie Kemp and her two children, Lucas, aged two, and three month old Darcey.
But as the group shopped in Boots Pharmacy, young Lucas suffered a seizure and staff at the store immediately called an ambulance.
“It was awful,” said Joanne, 38, from New Ferry. “Angie was understandably in a panic and didn’t know what to do with Darcey, so I told her I would take the Baby
, the double buggy and all the bags while she went off in the ambulance with Lucas.
“The last thing on my mind was thinking about whether my ticket had run out. I was obviously more concerned with helping my friend.”
After the ambulance left for hospital, Boots staff let Joanne ring Lucas’ father to tell him what had happened and Joanne then made her way back to the car.
“It was not an easy task,” she said. “I had to manage a double buggy, Darcey, and both of our bags, so between me and the Boots staff helping me, we had a lot.”
On reaching her car, Joanne found that she was twenty minutes late and had a ticket. But she said the parking attendant who issued it offered some sympathy with her plight and told her to write to the company to explain.
She eventually received a letter back from National Clamps - motto “We Care” - which said: “The warning signs are situated clearly on the pay and display site. On this occasion the time had been exceeded, therefore we acted correctly by ticketing your vehicle.
“Based on our findings it’s our responsibility to regretfully inform you that in this instance the penalty remains payable. All cases are treated individually and are thoroughly investigated before any decision is reached.”
Joanne said: “I couldn’t believe it. They couldn’t have investigated my case as they would have found that it was true! I will fight this all the way, because a child’s welfare comes before a ticket. This is such bad practice.
“What was I supposed to do? Leave my friend and her children there to fend for themselves? I can tell you one thing - I will never go shopping to Liscard again because this car park’s action is deplorable.”
A spokesman for National Clamps refused to rescind the ticket, saying: “We are not blessed with hindsight. We can’t determine who is telling the truth and who isn’t.
“We will not and cannot be expected to chase up evidence.”