A leading parking enforcement judge has confirmed that all parking charges at Southend Hospital are unlawful after a ‘reminder’ sign was installed with incorrect grammar.
Speaking at the conclusion of a test case hearing at the South Essex Court of Human Rights, Supreme Judge His Excellency Justice Custis ruled that the missing question mark from the question ‘Have you paid for parking’ renders the whole sentence worthless.
As a result, tens of thousands of people could be due refunds.
Summing up, he said: ‘Under the provisions of the 1999 Destruction of English Act, it is unlawful to erect a sign that contributes to the overall decline of basic standards of the English language.’
‘Although it is rare for a custodial sentence to be handed out for this offence, it is up to the presiding judge whether or not the subject matter of the sign is ruled null and void.’
‘Therefore on this occasion, I am ruling that these hospital parking charges cannot be enforced with a statutory statue of refunds put in place for a five year period.’
Marshall Shandy of Hand, Shandy and Wristler Legal Practice added that the reserved patient transport spaces with the label ‘Transport Vehicles Only’ may also be on shaky legal ground.’
He said: ‘Surely all vehicles are transport? You just have to open a copy of ‘I can go’ in nursery to realise this.’
‘It’s like the entire collection of signs were put together by a seven year old.’
It is the latest embarrassment for a British hospital over a sign after a controversial sign appeared a few months ago saying that a Suffolk hospital was ‘smoke-free.’
According to a prominent racial justice campaigner, the sign made him think that black people weren’t welcome there.