Remembrance Day parade troops get parking tickets!
A unit of Territorial Army medics recently returned from duty in Afghanistan had parking tickets slapped on their minibuses as they were paying their respects on Remembrance Sunday.
Members of Abingdon-based 202 Field Hospital had parked on a single yellow line in Keble Road just before 11am, after which time parking is allowed in the area, so they could attend the service in St Giles, Oxford.
But when they returned they found traffic wardens had ticketed their minibuses, with fines totalling £100.
Last night Oxfordshire County Council stated that it had cancelled the tickets after the Army contacted it to complain.
The Ministry of Defence would not comment yesterday but Terry Roper, of Claymond Road, Barton, was also at the St Giles service and said traffic wardens were “out in force” on Sunday morning.
The 61-year-old who watched the parade, said: “It was absolutely disgraceful. We had gone along for the service and I couldn’t believe how many traffic wardens I saw.
“I questioned one of them and he told me they had been told by the county council to ticket people before 11am.”
The county council would not say how many people received tickets on Sunday.
Medics from 202 Field Hospital, based at Edward Brooks Barracks, are part of the army medical service and care for injured soldiers in one of the world’s toughest war zones.
A field hospital is a hospital that can be deployed anywhere in the world and set up using tents or existing buildings. The team recently returned from Afghanistan, having also deployed last year when three nurses from Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, a physiotherapist, medical technicians and hospital administration staff were among the team.
Mr Roper said he thought the targeting of people on Sunday was “incredibly distasteful.”
He said: “The whole thing was ridiculously heavy-handed and completely unnecessary.
“The council knew fully well that the majority of cars parked in that area belonged to people at the ceremony. A lot of these people were quite elderly.
“I have written to council leader Keith Mitchell.
“For just one morning a year it would be nice if they used a bit of common sense and did not punish those people who wanted to pay their respects.”
Oxfordshire County Council spokesman Owen Morton said no extra traffic wardens were working on Sunday.
He added: “Given the circumstances, we are happy to cancel the tickets.”
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