A PARKING enforcement company has been suspended from operating in Kingsmead after an officer was filmed slapping a fine on an ambulance for parking on double yellow lines.

Stunned shoppers watched as two paramedics – who had popped into Tesco Express in Kingsmead Square for a bottle of water – were issued with the ticket at 3pm on Tuesday.

Passers-by expressed their disgust at the parking officer and a video of the incident was posted on Facebook by Northwich resident Ian French.

The video has since been viewed thousands of times on social media.

The ambulance crew told the officer they had been on call since 6.45am and had stopped for refreshments.

In the video, Mr French can be heard saying: “So you are giving a ticket to an ambulance that is on call? If their radio goes they have to go.”

The parking attendant argued back saying because the staff were not actively on-call, the issuing of a ticket was valid.

In the video, he said: “They were not on-call, they were having lunch. Where are the sirens?”

The paramedics explained how the vehicle was not able to fit into a normal bay and, instead of taking up a disabled space, they had sought permission from the shop owner if they were OK to park on the curb.

Cllr Helen Weltman, member of Cheshire West and Cheshire Council and Kingsmead Parish Council, said: “I think that this incident is absolutely disgusting, and borderline draconian.

“Our ambulance service provides the community with a vital lifesaving service and this utter disrespect to the hard-working men and women who provide it is just shameful.

“I am worried now that people will not use this car parkin the future with fears of being ticketed without any additional circumstances being taken into consideration. Everyone loses out in the end.”

Emergency vehicles are legally permitted to stop on all waiting restrictions, according to the Penalty Charge Notice contravention code.

A North West Ambulance spokesperson said: “We are aware of the video circulating on social media showing a traffic warden issuing a ticket to one of our ambulance crews in Kingsmead, Cheshire.

“As yet, we are unaware of whether or not the parking ticket has been issued or is being waived and will deal with this matter once we have further details.”

The car park is owned by LCP Parking Services. A spokesman for the company says that the issue has left the firm feeling ‘very disappointed’.

The spokesman said: “We are of course very disappointed to see that members of the emergency services have had an issue with a parking officer.

“We employ Euro Parking Services to manage the parking at Kingsmead Square to ensure that everyone that wants to shop can do so without any unnecessary hindrance while using the car park.

“On this occasion, we do not agree with the parking officer’s interpretation of the parking restrictions relating to emergency vehicles.

“In the meantime, all enforcement and patrols at Kingsmead Square have been stopped and EPS will not be visiting site again pending completion of the review.”

A statement from Euro Parking Services confirmed that the fine was cancelled and that its staff will be undergoing retraining.

George Chawawa, senior compliance manager for Euro Parking Services, said: “We have been looking into the incident and were able to track the ticket on our system and the PCN fine was cancelled within the hour.

“We look to review the way our staff operate, and this will be a case of retraining and simply refreshing what we have in place.

“It has been a rather upsetting situation for all involved and, as a gesture of goodwill, we are looking to make a donation to the ambulance service as a way of recognising the work that they do and apologise for any disruption caused.”