Perth hospital patient attending X-ray receives fine…one minute after arriving in car park

© DC ThomsonParking at Perth Royal Infirmary.
Parking at Perth Royal Infirmary.

A hospital patient has slammed a private parking company for slapping a ticket on her car one minute after she pulled in to attend for an X-ray appointment.

Widow Val Greenhalgh, 67, was left shocked when she discovered Smart Parking had ticketed her car at Perth Royal Infirmary.

Now Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser has backed her after the controversial parking company rejected her appeal against the £70 fine.

Mr Fraser berated Smart Parking for being unreasonable in turning down an appeal from a patient who was attending a pre-arranged hospital appointment.

The Mid Scotland and Fife MSP said: “I’m bitterly disappointed to hear that Mrs Greenhalgh is being threatened if she doesn’t pay this unfair fine.

“Smart Parking had promised to review the firm’s practices following hundreds of complaints from motorists about the company’s site in Kinnoull Street, Perth, in February.

“However, I had expressed my doubts as to whether this would happen and this shameful harassment of a pensioner backs up my concerns.

“I have been pushing for a change in the law surrounding private parking firms such as Smart Parking who issue motorists with excessive fines for some time.

“This incident at PRI is a disgrace and just highlights how we need to regulate private parking firms like Smart Parking.”

Val, from Perth, said: “I was at the GP on the Tuesday and he referred me to the hospital for an X-ray, so I said I would go up the following morning and that was arranged.

“The first two parts of the car park were full, but I found a space and parked. I got a free ticket out of the machine and left a note to say I was at the X-ray department.

“The ticket was timed at 9.16am and covers you for four hours. I didn’t have a hospital letter to display obviously because I had been referred from my GP the day before.

“When I came back to the car I had been given a ticket. That was bad enough, but when I looked it had been put on my car at 9.17 am. I was shocked.

“I was getting an X-ray because of pain in my replacement hip, so I wasn’t exactly speeding across the car park like Usain Bolt.

“I can only imagine the parking warden must have been hiding in the bushes waiting for me to leave so he could slap a ticket on.

“I sent Smart Parking proof that I was at the hospital as a legitimate patient, but they still refused to overturn the ticket. It seems ridiculous.

“As if going to hospital is not a stressful enough experience, you then have to deal with companies like this bullying you.”

Smart Parking did not respond to a request for comment.