Ill tot's mum gets parking fine
Reporter: Rosalyn Roden
Date online: 21 April 2017
A MUM has complained after receiving an "unfair" parking fine while her baby was in intensive care.
Mellissa O'Neill was visiting her newborn baby Jacob O'Neill-Loynes, now five months old, at the Royal Oldham Hospital when she was slapped with a parking charge notice (PCN).
The PCN was handed out despite her car registration being logged with the hospital as exempt from parking fees.
Mellissa had to have an emergency 'C' section to give birth to Jacob three weeks early, but her son had to remain in the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU) between November 18 and 30. She was told she could visit and park for free due to the nature of the visits.
However, she returned to her vehicle on November 27 to find the PCN on her car. She immediately queried the ticket.
Mellissa, from Derker, has not made a formal complaint to the hospital, but made several complaints to the two firms which have since informed her that she must pay parking fines.
Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which oversees the Royal Oldham Hospital, said it would look into the situation and arrange to have the ticket cancelled as well as making its car parking provider aware that the matter is resolved.
Mellissa said: "My baby was really poorly and a ticket was the last thing I needed.
"The ticket warden must know who is exempt."
She then received a £30 PCN through the post from Civil Enforcement Ltd. Mellissa made a formal complaint to the firm and said she would not pay the fine.
She was asked to provide evidence that Jacob had been in the ICU at the time she received the ticket.
The health trust provided her with the evidence in a letter which was passed on to the parking company, but Mellissa was then told the fine had risen to £170.
On refusing to pay this increased sum, a debt agency ZZPN Ltd then made contact with Mellissa.
She said: "I was asked to provide a letter from the hospital which I sent and now they are still insisting I have to pay.
"The whole situation has increased my stress levels. It isn't good enough.
"The weeks are going on and on and it is making me more and more angry."
ZZPN and Civil Enforcement Ltd were approached for comment, but neither firm had responded at the time of publication.
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