Relief for disabled man after Hinchingbrooke fine is scrapped

A DISABLED man has expressed his frustration at being fined for overstaying in Hinchingbrooke Hospital car park – after a half-hour walk back to his car.

A DISABLED man has expressed his relief after Hinchingbrooke Hospital scrapped the fine he was given for overstaying in the car park – after a half-hour walk back to his vehicle.

Dirk Olsen, 78, suffers from thrombosis in one leg and gout in the other, and had to stop to rest on the 200-metre walk back to his car after an appointment on October 22.

He estimates the walk to his car took him 30 minutes, and he arrived back at his car at 11.45am, 25 minutes after his �2 ticket had run out, to find that he had been fined �40.

Mr Olsen’s anger was compounded when his disabled parking badge, for which he had waited five weeks, arrived in the post two days later.

The permit would have entitled him to use the bays closer to the hospital and avoid a longer walk to his car.

Mr Olsen’s first appeal, lodged on the day the fine was issued, upheld the charge, but when he and The Hunts Post explained the circumstances surrounding the disabled parking permit, the fine was rescinded.

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He said: “I have difficulty in walking. I needed to sit down and rest for quite a long time to get back to my car. I think it took me a little over half an hour to get back to my car, but I got there too late.

“I had already applied for the permit, but I did not park in the disabled bays because I had not yet received it,” said Mr Olsen, of Riverside Mill, Godmanchester. “I don’t think that patients should have to pay for parking – though that is another issue – but I think there should be some leeway.”

Hinchingbrooke Hospital said in December that patients visiting the hospital for appointments would not have to pay fines incurred by clinics overrunning, though Mr Olsen received his fine in October.

A hospital spokesman said: “Mr Olsen’s first letter did not contain enough information about his circumstances. However, when we found out that Mr Olsen had a disabled parking permit, we were happy to rescind the fine.

“With the time lost over Christmas and new year, we were not able to let him know until Tuesday.”

Mr Olsen said he was satisfied that the fine had been cancelled and that a line had been drawn under the matter.