Blood donor fined for parking error

David Ainscough
David Ainscough

AN unhappy Wiganer is in dispute with a city council after his mercy mission to donate blood platelets ended with a parking ticket.

David Ainscough, from Highfield, found the sanction had been slapped on his vehicle’s windscreen after an appointment at Manchester Blood Donor Centre over-ran by 20 minutes.

Paying the money is not a problem, it’s about the principle of it. If they quash the fine I will donate the same amount to charity

David Ainscough

Mr Ainscough, of Aveley Gardens, had hoped the nature of his visit to the city would encourage Manchester City Council to waive the fine and he has also been supported by the NHS.

However, to his fury the local authority decided to uphold the parking ticket and demand he pays the £50 fine, leading to a dispute which has been running ever since the original incident in August.

He is currently taking Manchester City Council to a tribunal after exhausting its internal complaints procedures and says while he accepts the warden was correct to issue the ticket believes the matter is now one of principle.

Mr Ainscough, 33, said: “I’ve always accepted that I am in the wrong and they are in the right, but I have a letter from the NHS saying there are extenuating circumstances and I had thought that would be enough.

“I had hoped it would be resolved quickly because I apologised for over-running straight away. I paid the £7 for two hours because I normally that got me back in plenty of time, but this time it just over-ran for some reason.

“Paying the money is not a problem, it’s about the principle of it. If they quash the fine I will donate the same amount to charity.

“They said I could have paid by phone but I couldn’t get up in the middle of donating and dial the number. It’s quite an in-depth process so I can’t just go out to my van and put more money in either. They’re sticking by the letter of the law which I suppose is fair enough but still it seems wrong to me.”

Mr Ainscough parked on York Street and says only paying for two hours was not a case of trying to make things easier or save money as he has since found out he could have parked elsewhere more cheaply and closer to the Plymouth Grove donation centre. He was originally given a fine of £25 which has now been doubled as he did not pay within 14 days. Mr Ainscough, who repairs dental equipment, decided to start donating blood platelets after his own family’s battles with cancer showed him how important it is, and he travels to the city fortnightly for his appointments.

He said: “My family has had a bad time with cancer and I’ve spent a lot of time at The Christie hospital, so I decided to donate because it’s something I can give back. The nurses said it was disgusting when I told them what was happening. The bit that’s really grating on me is that I was giving blood, not shopping or going to the cinema.”

Manchester City Council strongly defended its decision. A council spokesman said: “If Mr Ainscough had paid an extra pound, he would have been able to park for the maximum amount of time the meter allowed, and would not have received a ticket. While we recognise that many people are doing important business in the city centre, anyone who isn’t sure how long they will be staying can park in one of the many pay on exit car parks, such as the Piccadilly Place car park which is several minutes walk from Norfolk House.

“Anyone who doesn’t feel they should have received a ticket is able to contest it through the appeals process, as we understand Mr Ainscough is in the process of doing.”