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Canterbury parking anger over blood donor fee in Pound Lane

An angry blood donor says a council is putting a price on lives by making those who donate pay for parking in Canterbury.

In 40 years of giving blood, Jacky Douglas says she has never before had to fork out for a ticket.

The ANPR car park system doesn't allow for free blood donor parking
The ANPR car park system doesn't allow for free blood donor parking

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But following a trip to Canterbury's Westgate Hall, the Chestfield resident realised she would have to cough up for her stay in Pound Lane car park.

The 62-year-old said: “Does the city council have to put a price now on saving lives? It’s disgraceful They are predatory vultures.

“I just hope they never have to rely on the generosity of selfless blood donors to come to their rescue as maybe we should charge them for the service.”

Mrs Douglas had a dispensation permit for free parking from the Blood Service, but the council has ended the free arrangement in recent years.

Cartoon by Royston Robertson
Cartoon by Royston Robertson

It meant she was forced to pay £1.70 to park.

“It’s not much but it’s a matter of principle,” she said. “I was about an hour but it could take ages - not everybody’s got the money to pay for these things.

“There’s fewer people giving blood nowadays, so this is a kick in the teeth from the council. They’re getting money out of decent people doing a selfless thing - it’s just wrong.

“They obviously didn’t think of the bigger picture.

“I might sound like a windbag but I was so angry about it. I think it puts people off giving blood.

Blood donor Jacky Douglas isn't happy
Blood donor Jacky Douglas isn't happy

“It was the first time I got charged - I hope it will be the last. The council are stinkers."

Mrs Douglas wants the council to re-evaluate its methods and not force blood donors to pay for parking.

Canterbury City Council spokesman Rob Davies said: “We are pleased to offer the National Blood Service free parking for their staff and for the vehicles they use to deliver their service.

“Charging applies to people who are giving blood in the same way it does to anybody else using the car park.”

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