A HOSPITAL trust has agreed to overturn a parking fine handed to a visitor who overstayed his hospital parking by 12 minutes.

Dean Smith, from Clacton, had arrived for a morning appointment at Colchester Hospital with his parents, both aged in their 80s, in July.

His mother, who has diabetes, was due to undergo a routine scan.

Following the appointment Mr Smith followed parking machine instructions to pay £2 for his stay.

He wheeled his mother to the car, which he says was parked around 150 meters away.

After helping his mother into the car and loading her wheelchair in the boot, he exited the car park.

The gate opened and Mr Smith says there was no indication he had breached the rules.

But around ten days later, a £70 fine dropped through his letter box.

“In the time it took me to pay, walk to the car, help my parents and leave I had overstayed by 12 minutes,” he said.

“There was nothing more I could have done to avoid this, I followed every step.”

Mr Smith has already seen an appeal, launched through POPLA, dismissed.

“We had a reply stating that the age and motability of the hospital patients was not relevant in this case,” he said.

“I will not pay it, they will not get a penny more out of me.

“This is a hospital and this company is making money off the back of patients.”

Car Parking Partnership, which operate the hospital parking, maintained that Mr Smith had exceeded his stay.

But upon hearing about his case, Fiona Sparrow is head of facilities at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, agreed to waive the fine.

“We understand that it may take time for visitors to get back to their cars, particularly if they are with elderly relatives who are in need of extra help,” she said.

“We’ve recently increased the grace period at Colchester Hospital’s visitor car parks from 10 minutes to 30 minutes to try and take some of that pressure away to leave quickly."