A HEAVILY pregnant mother has told how she pleaded with a city parking warden not to give her a ticket as she was taking her sick son home from hospital.
Susie Ellis, a marketing manager from Liberton, was with her one-and-a-half-year- old son, Euan, who had spent the night in the Sick Kids hospital as a result of an infection, when the council parking warden struck.
Her husband, teaching assistant Paul Ellis, drove to pick the pair up and parked. But faced with a ten-minute walk in the cold and exceptionally high winds with an unwell child in her arms, 36-year-old Mrs Ellis, who is seven months pregnant, asked him to drive closer to pick her up.
He parked in a space outside the hospital gates at about 1pm on Tuesday and went inside to collect his wife and son. But when they returned just minutes later, they found that a parking warden was already circling the car.
Despite attempts to explain the circumstances, Mrs Ellis said he remained unmoved and rudely dismissed her claims before issuing the fine.
She said her husband had driven the car closer, adding: “He did park in a permit holders’ space but we thought it would be OK. Then as soon as we came out of the Sick Kids the parking attendant was there.
“We explained that we were just leaving but he started writing it and quoting parking regulations.”
It is believed that the city’s parking attendants are allowed to show discretion in certain cases, although once they begin to issue a ticket their system does not allow them to cancel it.
Mrs Ellis said the warden had shown no compassion or sympathy. She added: “The thing that upset me was that there was the opportunity there for him not to issue the ticket.
“I was obviously heavily pregnant and holding a sick child. We clearly weren’t making it up but he was really quite arrogant. All the guy said was that you’ll have to appeal to the council but we were clearly leaving and were putting Euan in the car seat.
“I feel disgusted that there is so little compassion.”
Euan’s GP had told Mrs Ellis to take Euan to the hospital on Monday as a result of problems with his breathing. The youngster, who had pneumonia just two weeks ago, was admitted overnight.
City transport convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said: “Where there are mitigating circumstances, parking tickets can be cancelled and we take a sympathetic view of situations like this, so I would encourage Mr Ellis to contact our parking team.”