They penalty charge notices were issued even though the cars had ‘nurse on duty’ notices prominently displayed.
The council responded by saying that some of the cards were ‘informal and tatty photocopies’. The incident has provoked outrage on social media.
The Blood Donor Service is held regularly in Medway Hall inside the Angel Centre but Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council [TMBC] has asked the NHS to notify them in future.
The council tweeted: “Unfortunately no parking arrangement had been made for the blood donation – staff that got tickets are asked to appeal so we can sort this out.
“The Blood Transfusion Service carry out vital work, and we hope the NHS will contact us to make suitable arrangements for the future.
Robert Styles, TMBC’s Director for Street Scene, Leisure and Technical Services, told the Times: “The council issued a number of parking tickets to vehicles parked in the Angel car parks in Tonbridge – some were displaying cards from the NHS and Blood Transfusion Service, some with informal and tatty photocopies.
“Unfortunately no arrangement had been made with the council for staff working at the blood donation session at the Angel Centre, so our officers issued penalty charge notices to their vehicles, as they would to any other vehicle that does not pay to park or had not made a prior arrangement with the council.”
He added: “TMBC fully recognises the vital work that the Blood Transfusion Service does, and has arranged to meet with the NHS Blood and Transplant Service to discuss future parking arrangements.
“Tuesday’s parking tickets were correctly issued, and can be challenged as set out on the reverse of the parking ticket, in which case we would of course revoke any that were issued to NHS staff.”
Later he issued a clarification, saying: “In the meantime no further parking tickets will be issued to vehicles clearly belonging to their staff, and we hope to formalise this situation in the near future, ensuring that this misunderstanding cannot occur again.”