A funeral director claims a ‘sniggering jobsworth’ traffic warden gave her a parking ticket as she unloaded a dead body from her private ambulance.
Paula Brennan said she was horrified to learn that the warden had slapped a penalty notice on the vehicle’s windscreen next to a large sign which reads "funeral director on coroner’s call out".
Paula, owner of Hebden Bridge Funeral Services, claims she had parked the vehicle at the back of the property to quickly and respectfully remove the body from the vehicle and safely move her into the home at 2pm yesterday.
As she made necessary arrangements inside, a flustered member of the public came into the building notifying her that the private ambulance had been ticketed.
Calderdale Council says the vehicle was in violation of car park restrictions, it was blocking in another car and it is not exempt from parking restrictions despite being a funeral director’s private ambulance.
Paula claims the traffic warden reprimanded her for not pulling into a space at the other end of the public car park on Garden Street and unloading the deceased there.
Paula, from Hebden Bridge, West Yorks, said: “I went out to him and asked if I could have a private word and he ignored me.
“He then said there was a bay available at the end of the public car park which was about 800 metres away.
“I said ‘you want me to park there and carry this loved one through a public car park?’
“I asked how he would feel if it was his loved one. He said ‘I’ve got a job to do’, sniggered and walked away. It was so disrespectful.”
Paula, 37, and a colleague had driven to the private area at the back of the building and pulled in where there are no double yellow lines.
As they made arrangements for their new arrival inside the funeral home the vehicle was ticketed, she said.
Mum-of-one Paula said: “I was gobsmacked at what happened and fuming at his behaviour.
“I just wanted a private quiet chat to see if he realised what the vehicle was which he did.
“I was wearing a smart shirt and tie and it quite clearly says at the front and down the side that it’s a private ambulance, but he was unresponsive and then sniggered.
“In the end I walked away, I wanted to be respectful and I’ve got a job to do.
“There seems to be a growing lack of respect for the funeral industry in general.”
A Calderdale Council spokesperson, said: “Parking restrictions are in place to ensure public safety and to help traffic flow. There are exemptions for some vehicles, including ambulances and funeral hearses. However, the vehicle in this case was not covered by these exemptions.
“The vehicle was only marked as belonging to a funeral director, was parked in contravention of the car park restrictions which are clearly displayed on the information board within the car park, was parked outside of a marked bay, and was also blocking in another car.
"The notice displayed in the window was not sufficient to waive the car park’s restrictions and therefore the Civil Enforcement Officer issued a Penalty Charge Notice after seeking clarification and direction from a supervisor.
“We always ask people to park considerately and respect other vehicles and parking restrictions. Although we sympathise with the situation, the vehicle was parked irresponsibly and as such, the Penalty Charge Notice will be upheld.
“The business has been advised of the restrictions and exemptions previously and has not indicated that these cause any issues.
“The owner of the vehicle has the right to appeal against the Penalty Charge Notice."
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