Son ‘fed up’ as he’s hit with £100 fine after driving 3 hours to see dying dad

A man who had to drive 140 miles to see his dying dad has told of his anger at being given a fine for failing to buy a parking ticket.

David Ridsdale drove from Nottingham to North Tees Hospital to see his dad at 3am, after he had fallen over and suffered a heart attack.

His father is aged 91, and, sadly, David didn't make it in time to say goodbye, Teeside Live reports.

Mr Ridsdale said: “Obviously I set off immediately. The journey from my home in Nottingham usually takes about 2.5 hours, this was however the night of storm 'Arwen' and conditions were terrible with snow and heavy rain, and the drive took me over 3.5 hours.

“I heard from my mother during the drive that my father had sadly died.”

The man turned up at the hospital at 7am, and parked in a nearby car park – although located directly opposite the hospital, it is not owned by them. It was owned by SmartParking.

Mr Ridsdale recalls how, in the dark and heavy rain, in an area he did not know, he ran from his car straight into the hospital.
He said: “Not being from the area, I was not familiar with the hospital or the parking.

“I had so many things on my mind, I was anxious about my elderly mother and very upset, I just parked in a car park and ran into the hospital building.”

His total time in the car park was 13 minutes – and he was landed with a £100 fine, which he did contest.

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He said: “The car park was deserted, and to be honest it never crossed my mind to think about paying- I was not contesting that I didn't pay. I should have paid and failed to do so, but it was entirely unintentional, my mind was on other things.

“I was just asking for someone to give me a break and show some compassion, the circumstances were exceptional. I just feel really disappointed, fed up and helpless.”

Mr Ridsdale, who has since paid the fine, did receive a letter telling him that the charge still stands, and the Daily Star has contacted Smart Parking for comment.

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