A Cupar funeral director has expressed his dismay after a parking attendant slapped a £60 ticket on a hearse parked outside his premises.
Steven Stewart was inside his Bonnygate funeral parlour preparing to transfer a newly-embalmed body to Kirkcaldy in his hearsette – a funeral removal vehicle that’s a cheaper option than a large hearse – when the over-zealous attendant struck.
“I admit I was parked for 20 minutes over the time limit but everyone knows it’s a funeral vehicle ,” said Steven.
“Two people from premises nearby came running out when they saw the guy issuing the ticket and told him to stop, but he just said it was too late.”
Steven challenged the penalty but Fife Council remained unrepentant.
In his reply to the appeal, 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.
Cupar councillor Bryan Poole was incensed by the situation and stepped in on Steven’s behalf.
“It’s absolutely ludicrous,” he told the Fife Herald.
““What is he supposed to do? Pull the coffins along to the car park?
“I know Steven had exceeded the time limit but the parking attendant should have used more discretion.
“I have already spoken to the head of service and the portfolio holder on the council and I’m very hopeful that an amicable solution can be found.
“However this should never have happened in the first place.”
A spokesman for Fife Councilm said that although the vehicle was equipped to carry a coffin that wasn’t immediately obvious to the parking attendant concerned and from the outside it looked like an ordinary estate car.
Tony McRae, lead professional, parking & 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.”
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