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Cinderford couple stuck in hospital car park while attendant had lunch

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 28, 2014

Colin and Jaki Day

Comments (5)

TERMINALLY-ill cancer patient Colin Day was left trapped in a closed-off car park at Cheltenham General Hospital for 40 minutes – while the parking attendant was on his lunch break.

The 69-year-old, who was told earlier this month that he has little time to live, had travelled with his wife Jaki from their home in Cinderford to undergo a course of radiotherapy treatment.

But when they tried to leave the hospital’s grounds last Thursday afternoon, they discovered they had entered a staff car park and the barriers would not open.

After asking the parking attendant there to raise the barriers, they were told they would have to wait.

Appalled Jaki, 67, said: “I told the two gentlemen in the parking booth that my husband had just had radiotherapy and that it was important that I got him home as soon as possible to rest.

“I could see that one of the men was eating his lunch and the other told me that he couldn’t help because he was on his own and that we would have to wait.

“I pleaded with him but he said that he couldn’t help. I turned around and went back to the car where I turned up the heating and we waited for 40 minutes.”

The hospital’s car park is run by independent contractor Vinci Park UK.

A spokeswoman for Vinci Park UK said: “On January 23 a member of the public accidentally parked in a clearly signposted staff car park and was prevented from leaving by the area’s security measures.

“On establishing it was a genuine error, parking staff raised the barrier and allowed the vehicle to leave.”

Colin was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer which develops from protective cells that line the body’s internal organs.

The disease became apparent after he was treated for a lung condition in Bristol four months ago. Jaki, who has cared for her husband since, is preparing for the worst.

“He is dying,” she said.

“We know he isn’t going to be cured and there aren’t many years left for us.

“But I want it to be as easy and as comfortable as possible for him. He deserves more and human kindness and consideration costs absolutely nothing.”

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  • Kay_Powell  |  January 28 2014, 6:41PM

    They got off without a fine for parking in a staff car park, and then went to the media to whinge. It simply shows that someone can't read signs.

    |   13
  • honslknjklyt  |  January 28 2014, 6:06PM

    They were already shown leniency as they were not given a ticket when they deserved one. It is the duty of pensioners as well as everyone else to check for signage, not stroll along oblivious and assuming they can just cry about their situation and get off. "Jaki" even said that she wanted to make things as easy as she could for him, this hints that she knew it was a staff car park.

    |   17
  • meymey  |  January 28 2014, 5:30PM

    yep sounds about right for all the sad *insert own word/s here* who work for vinci. vinci signage is usually baldly placed (deliberately maybe) ive seen them at 10 and 11 pm in Gloucester hospital placing tickets on cars in almost empty car parks, certain words come to mind but they would get deleted. vivnci are only interested in money and not there for the benefit of anyone other than themselves

    |   -7
  • honslknjklyt  |  January 28 2014, 5:11PM

    No sympathy at all. The staff car park was clearly signed as staff. What has his terminal illness got to do with anything apart from trying to use it to again make parking companies look like demons? It is clear that it is staff and as if the staff haven't heard that excuse a thousand times before.

    |   15
  • Apothegm_  |  January 28 2014, 3:28PM

    I'm sure the word "jobsworth" is entirely inappropriate in this context...

    |   -1