The Wokingham Paper

MAY FAYRE: Anger as First Responder car carrying defibrillators and oxygen tanks given a parking ticket

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CALLS have been made for council bosses to cancel a parking ticket slapped on a first aid car during the May Fayre.

The driver of the vehicle, which was carrying defibrillators and oxygen tanks, was told by Fayre organisers to leave it outside the town hall.

But despite displaying a medical sign and parked beside a police car and fire engine, it was still given a ticket by an over-enthusiastic warden.

Medic Steven Blethyn from Beyond First Aid, said he was “stunned” when he returned to discover the £75 fine stuck to his car window.

“My team was based in the town hall and we had been told to park outside because it saved carrying the defibrillator and tanks into the building,” he said.

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw the ticket. The fire engine didn’t have one, nor did the police, but even though our vehicle was clearly marked as a medical vehicle on call, we got a ticket.

“In the past, I have placed a blue light on the roof. I think next year, I’d better bring two with me.”

Stephen has appealed the fine, which is reduced to £35 if paid within two weeks, with Wokingham Borough Council.

“I had told my staff where they could park for free nearby so it’s ironic I end up with a ticket, he laughed.

“Even the police smiled when they saw I’d been done. They said they were jealous. It was annoying but it didn’t spoil the day. This is the fourth May Fayre I have attended, and I also do the Christmas event, and I really enjoy coming to Wokingham.”

Andy Slay, organiser of the Fayre was also angry Stephen had been targeted by wardens.

“I asked him to park outside the town hall and as the car was clearly marked as a first aid vehicle, it is nonsense he received a ticket.

“I spoke to the warden who said once it was issued, it couldn’t be taken back. He said it was best to leave it and appeal. I just want to say that the people of Wokingham really do expect the borough council to rescind the fine.”

Many people attending the May Fayre took to social media to lodge their anger and dismay.

One said: “A great May Fayre in Wokingham today, however the Parking Wardens sank to a new low today putting a penalty notice on the Medics car, which had to outside Town Hall in case of Emergencies.”

Another added: “Certainly not in the spirit of the day. It should be cancelled and shouldn’t have been there in the first place.”

One person quipped: “Nice one parking wardens, that will really help promote people to come to Wokingham won’t it! They’re so ticket orientated they even ticket a medics car, bonkers.”

Another said: “I sincerely hope it is rescinded I am surprised they were out on a Bank Holiday bet they caught a lot of people out”.

A Wokingham Borough Council spokesperson said: “No parking tickets were issued to emergency vehicles at the May Fayre.

“Wokingham Borough Council is aware that one ticket was issued to a vehicle that was parked illegally in Denmark Street to unload equipment.

“This vehicle was parked outside of the road closure for the fayre at the time the ticket was issued.

“Anybody who received a ticket is entitled to appeal against it if they believe it has been wrongly issued.”

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Neil Thompson
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Neil Thompson

I was working with Steve on this event. As I have on many different occasions. He was TOLD to park there by Wokingham officials; and this alone should void any ticket issued. Add to that that both myself and Steve have parked within feet of that exact spot 2 years on the trot. No tickets issued then. Poor poor Steve then had to put up with the playful urine extraction from both Plod and Trumpton, plus various members of the public. It’s really not Cricket is it? This isnt the first time Steve has put the contents of his wallet… Read more »

Tony Master
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Tony Master

Even better, beat up the parking warden until they are black and blue and then make 8 hours for assistance.

David Roland
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David Roland

This should be a “no brainer!” An immediate cancellation of the ticket and an apology to the First Aider. An undertaking to cancel tickets like this without quibble. And an instruction to the warden to check and think a little more thoroughly.

Paul Baily
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As Stalls Coordinator for the May Fayre I was told by the warden he could do nothing on the day as the ticket had already been issued but if the form was completed on the back and the circumstances explained the ticked would be cancelled. If the Council will not cancel the fine the May Fayre committee will pay it, but better the money went to charity!