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10/5/2006
UK Meter Maids Target Doctors, Surgeons
London, UK meter maids hinder doctors and surgeons from saving lives with tickets and boots.

Clamped car
In London, UK, a meter maid employed by CCS Enforcement Services detained a cancer specialist who was on the way to the hospital to treat seriously ill patients scheduled for surgery. The meter maid had used a boot to disable the car of Doctor Paul Thiruchelvam, 31, over a single parking ticket issued in March that Dr Thiruchelvam had appealed. The meter maid refused to release the vehicle unless he paid £863 (US $1627) on the spot.

"It was daylight robbery," Dr Thiruchelvam told the Evening Standard newspaper. "I was told to 'pay up or put up.' I explained to him I was a doctor and I had to leave immediately because I needed to operate on cancer patients but he didn't care. He said he was going to tow my car and sell it at auction."

Another doctor found himself harassed by meter maids while on an emergency call. Doctor Ewan Bumpstead, 33, was ticketed three minutes after he had parked his car to make a house call on an elderly patient.

"I would never park on a yellow line unless it was an emergency," Dr Bumpstead told This Is Local London. "It doesn't show the council in a very caring light when there are people who cannot get to their surgery."

Buckinghamshire County Council officials responded that it was more important to punish Dr Bumpstead for blocking a footpath. "Anybody who wanted to use the path would have to walk in the mud to get around. We cannot have this situation." a council spokesman said.

Source: Bailiff clamps surgeon on way to life-saving op and demands 900 (Evening Standard (UK), 10/3/2006)

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