New mother told childbirth not “valid reason” to appeal Hackney parking ticket

Jessica Winter with her mum Suzanne Winter and newborn baby daughter, Emily

Jessica Winter with her mum Suzanne Winter and newborn baby daughter, Emily - Credit: Archant

A new mother is shocked and dismayed after being told emergency childbirth was not a valid reason to waiver a parking ticket her partner was given while rushing her to hospital.

Jessica Winter, 29, who works as a nurse at Homerton Hospital had her own parking permit, for which she pays £500 a year, clearly displayed in the car.

But her partner Joseph Kelly, 34, was landed the fine for accidentally parking one road away from the permitted zones in his panic when Miss Winter went into emergency labour on March 10.

Miss Winter said: “We got halfway there and I thought the baby was going to come in the car. I was pushing while he was driving; I’m surprised we got to the hospital alive, it was really traumatic for everyone involved.”

She added: “I obviously know where I am allowed to park but in the stress he didn’t park where I normally can with the permit, but on Fenn Street, which is one road away from permitted roads.

“He looked up and saw ‘residential permits only, and misread it – he just saw the word ‘permit’, thought it was alright and, not wanting to miss the birth, he ran into to hospital.”

The couple appealed the fine two days later, but Miss Winter said a council employee told them that childbirth was not a “valid reason” to revoke it.

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She said: “I was like ‘oh thanks, you heartless man, what is a valid reason then?’

“If it had been an appointment, obviously we wouldn’t have done that but it was an emergency; it was such a quick birth, anything could have happened.

“It was such a shock. I pay a lot of money for my permit and I’ve worked for Homerton for more than 10 years.

“To feel that I serve Hackney’s community, and something that should have been such a special event for me and Joe to share together was just completely and utterly shattered, is just awful.”

Miss Winter said the fact bad traffic meant that her partner missed the birth of daughter Emily – who was delivered in just eight minutes – made the situation worse.

She said: “He is gutted, he really is. He just ran and he was still too late. And now I’ve got a two-week-old baby, it’s really the last thing financially we should be worrying about. We both work really hard – we’re both nurses – it’s a kick in teeth.”

After the Gazette contacted the council, a spokesman said: “We consider each parking appeal on its own merit, and will take into account exceptional circumstances. We have reviewed this case and will cancel the fine.”

We wish mum and baby well.”