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Parking warden tickets blood donation vans at Tenterden Leisure Centre

By Rachael Woods

A parking warden has slapped tickets on two NHS blood donation vehicles.

The van and truck were parked behind Tenterden Leisure Centre, as donors turned up to give blood during afternoon and evening sessions on Friday.

A concerned Tenterden resident tweeted Ashford Borough Council with pictures of the ticketed vehicles, with the message: “Is there really any need for this?

"Could your parking attendants not exercise a little discretion here?”

Tenterden town councillor Sue Ferguson said: “Something has obviously gone wrong as I haven’t seen the vans ticketed before and the mammography van also parks in the car park without a problem, but you would think there would be some leniency.”

An Ashford Borough Council (ABC) spokesman initially defended the ticketing, insisting that the authority’s rules had to be “consistent”.

The spokesman said: “While we believe the penalty charge notices were correctly issued as the vans were in a coach bay, we are of course open to checking this through the appeal process.

People came to this ticketed truck to donate blood
People came to this ticketed truck to donate blood

“We understand this is an emotive issue due to the nature of the vans but we must be consistent in our enforcement activity.”

ABC has since reviewed its position, admitting an error had occurred. A spokesman said: “The ticket was issued by mistake and should not have been. It has now been rescinded. There are arrangements in place to provide parking in such situations.”

Mark Rowland, area manager of Kent and East Sussex, NHS Blood and Transplant said that the service had a “long standing” parking agreement with ABC.

He added: “Two of our blood donation vans were issued with parking tickets during a regular session at Tenterden Leisure Centre.

The traffic warden is seen discussing the ticket
The traffic warden is seen discussing the ticket

“Our vehicles had parked in bays we regularly use for these sessions, based on a long standing local agreement with the council.

“We are speaking to Ashford Council again to discuss the local parking arrangements.

"Blood donation relies on the generosity of donors and we look forward to seeing our donors again.”

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