We won’t impose fine, Fife Council tells undertaker

Steven Stewart (with his parking ticket) and Councillor Bryan Poole, beside Mr Stewart's car.
Steven Stewart (with his parking ticket) and Councillor Bryan Poole, beside Mr Stewart's car.

Common sense has prevailed over a parking ticket slapped on to a hearse parked outside a Cupar funeral director’s premises.

Fife Council told Steven Stewart that it would rescind the ticket just after Christmas.

And now a local charity is set to benefit as Steven has promised to give the amount of the fine, topped up to £100, to Age Concern in Cupar.

The council initially refused to drop the fine, but in a letter to Steven it agreed to drop the matter, following support from Cupar councillor Bryan Poole.

“This is a victory for common sense,” Steven said this week.

“I had the hearsette parked outside my funeral parlour while I was transporting a recently deceased to Kirkcaldy.

“I admit that I was there for longer than I should have been, but everyone knows it is a funeral vehicle – including the warden who issued the ticket,” he continued.

“I was prepared to pay the £60 fine if I had to, but always said I would give the money to charity if my appeal was successful.

“I am happy to be giving it to Age Concern in Cupar, plus a bit more as it is a charity that is close to us.”

Cllr Poole described the situation as “ absolutely ludicrous”.

“The parking attendant should have used more discretion,” he said.

No one from Fife Council was available to comment this week, but the change of heart came after Cllr Poole’s intervention.

Previously, the council’s network management service manager David Brown said he could find no grounds for cancelling the ticket.

“The vehicle is only exempt from any restriction while it is in actual use in connection with a funeral undertaking, ” he said.

And Tony McRae, lead professional, parking and public transport infrastructure management, said: “We are aware of this case.

“We have also clarified that the vehicle that received the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) was not a hearse but a private estate car which was unmarked.

“The council’s parking attendant issued the PCN correctly at the point of issue for overstaying the limited parking time when no activity was noted.

“The Council operates a fair and robust appeals procedure and although the first appeal was rejected the council remains sensitive to such issues and will happily consider any evidence that is submitted at the next stage of the appeal process.”

But Cllr Poole said: “This should never have happened in the first place.”

Steven said he was grateful to Cllr Poole for his support.

“He was a massive help,” he added.