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 Wednesday, 22 January, 2003, 17:15 GMT
Hearse gets parking ticket
Hearse
The hearse 'had nowhere else to park'
Bosses at a funeral directors in Edinburgh are furious that a hearse was given a parking ticket as it waited to go to a funeral.

The vehicle was parked on double yellow lines outside McKenzie & Millar funeral directors when it got the 60 fine.

Bosses at McKenzie & Millar said on Wednesday they were "outraged" by the incident and vowed to fight the fine.

But Edinburgh City Council said the ticket was issued correctly because the coffin was not yet in the hearse and the parking attendant could not see any staff from the undertaker's.

It's unnecessary, insensitive and, as far as I'm concerned, we are exempt from parking restrictions

Philip Spencer

McKenzie & Millar claimed the hearse was left unattended for about five minutes on Monday at Great Junction Street, Leith, while preparations were being made to load the coffin into the vehicle.

Philip Spencer, regional manager of McKenzie & Millar, said: "We are absolutely outraged by what's happened.

"It's unnecessary, insensitive and, as far as I'm concerned, we are exempt from parking restrictions.

"We are an established company and have been trading in Leith since last century."

He added: "We have nowhere else to park. To park the vehicle elsewhere would mean we'd have to walk down the street holding a coffin, which would be inappropriate."

'No activity'

An Edinburgh City Council spokeswoman said it was willing to look into the matter.

"Vehicles involved in funerals do not receive parking tickets," she said.

"The parking attendant observed that there was no activity around the vehicle, no coffin in the hearse and no activity inside the shop front of the funeral director's.

"Therefore, with that information, it was concluded the hearse was not involved in a funeral."

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  BBC Scotland's Raymond Buchanan
"The funeral directors aren't amused"
  McKenzie & Millar's Philip Spencer
"The staff were in our premisis preparing the coffin"
See also:

13 Aug 02 | Scotland
09 Jul 02 | Breakfast
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