Sunday, November 28, 2021

“How is this helping?”: Elderly drivers getting Covid booster hit with parking tickets

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A furious driver who was slapped with a parking ticket outside a Covid-19 vaccination centre while getting her booster jab has hit out at Bury council.

Katherine Lavin said she and others visiting Ramsbottom Civic Hall discovered tickets on their cars after receiving the injection.

It comes after a whistle-blower raised concerns about parking wardens ‘preying on elderly people’ outside the building while it was being used for vaccinations.

READ MORE: Metrolink driver assaulted at Rochdale tram stop in latest violent incident on the network.

During public question time at Bury’s full council meeting on Wednesday evening, Mrs Lavin urged the council to ‘help the NHS do everything it can to overcome the pandemic’.

She said she was one of several people visiting the civic hall for jabs who had recently been targeted by council enforcement officers for parking outside marked bays on the car park.

Mrs Lavin told councillors that her experience went against the council’s policy of ‘providing safe places for people to go and get their vaccinations’.

She said: “I and other disabled and older people have been prosecuted. We hadn’t been there for a long time. We were there to receive our Covid jabs.

“By doing this how is Bury Council, helping the NHS overcome this epidemic?”

Ramsbottom Civic Hall is being used as a Covid vaccination centre

Earlier this month, the MEN reported the concerns of whistle-blower Jackie Griffiths, 61.

Jackie, a volunteer outdoor marshal at the Ramsbottom vaccination centre for several months, said older, vulnerable visitors had been targeted by parking officials since October.

She said she had helped an 89-year-old man who had been slapped with a parking ticket as he was being given his Covid booster jab.

Jackie said she was appalled at the practice of targeting motorists which she claimed was working against the central principle of ease of vaccinations.

She said: “The car park is on a hill and you get elderly people who have to drive up the hill into the car park and then walk down to the centre.

“The bays are marked out but the paint is very worn.

“There’s also the issue of leaves obscuring the lines at this time of year.”

A warden at the Ramsbottom Town Hall car park on Friday, November 5

A spokesperson for Bury Council, said: “The clinic at Ramsbottom Civic Hall has been extremely busy offering first and second doses of the coronavirus vaccine, and now booster jabs too.

“As a result, the adjacent car park is often congested with people turning up for their vaccinations.

“There is very limited room to manoeuvre, therefore it is essential that drivers park properly and in a bay in order to maximise the space available.

“We have had a number of reports of cars being damaged due to drivers trying to negotiate other people’s poor parking.

“If anyone feels they have wrongly been issued with a parking fine, we would advise them to lodge an appeal via the process outlined on the ticket.”

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