First-aider gets £60 fine in Rugby car park after assisting elderly woman waiting for ambulance

The car park.
The car park.

A woman who was handed a parking ticket as she looked after an elderly lady who required an ambulance is set to receive a refund after the Advertiser intervened.

Exams officer and first-aider Sara Anstee was handed a £60 ticket for overstaying at the car park outside Home Bargains in Rugby on Friday, April 13.

She had been shopping with her daughter and was returning through the Asda car park with around 10 minutes to spare when she saw an elderly woman lying on a nearby bench.

Sara said: “Her handbag was knocked over at her feet and her shopping was on the floor, spilling out of the bag.

“Everyone was just ignoring her, going about their own business. I’m St. John’s Ambulance trained and, concerned, I went over to see if she was ok.

“I got no response, but she was breathing. A lady came up to me as I reached for my phone and offered to call an ambulance while I did first aid.

“The lady was semi-conscious, couldn’t sit up, and all I could get from her was her first name.”

The ambulance arrived and Sara returned to her car between 30-60 minutes over the allocated time.

ParkingEye, which manages the car park, then sent Sara a £60 fine through the post – increasing to £100 if not paid within 14 days.

Sara appealed the ticket but received a response stating she had not provided enough evidence so her appeal had been rejected.

Sara said: “What evidence can I provide from a passer-by I’ve never met before and a semi-conscious old lady who won’t remember me?"

Sara opted to pay the £60 fine before it increased to £100. She said: "What a sad indictment on today’s society that you’re penalised for being a good citizen and doing what you’re asked by the Ambulance Service."

The Advertiser contacted West Midlands Ambulance Service to confirm the details of the incident before reaching a spokesperson for ParkingEye – who agreed to arrange to give Sara a refund.

When the Advertiser asked the spokesperson what evidence Sara could have used because she would have had difficulty getting proof from the ambulance service, the Advertiser was directed to information on Parking Eye’s website and in its communications.

ParkingEye's website states people appealing a fine should be: "Giving the reasons for the appeal and enclosing any supporting information, i.e. a receipt to prove expenditure at the location, a parking ticket etc."

When the Advertiser asked how that advice would be applicable to Sara's case, the spokesperson said ParkingEye had no further comment to make.