So how is the training going anyway?

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EDINBURGH’S notorious Enforcers have plumbed new depths - by ticketing an ambulance.

A parking attendant stunned medics by dishing out the 60 fine while they were waiting to take a wheelchair-bound elderly woman to hospital.

The blunder comes less than a week after the Evening News revealed a hearse was ticketed outside a city funeral home.

The latest fiasco today prompted a furious reaction from ambulance chiefs, motoring organisations and local politicians.

They demanded to know why, despite a pledge from city council chiefs that the Enforcers would be given proper training courses, the ticket was issued at all.

Red-faced city parking officials have admitted the mistake and have ordered the private contractor in charge of the Enforcers, Central Parking System, to improve attendant training.

The incident is understood to have angered frustrated ambulance workers. The ambulance, which is used to transfer patients to hospitals, was sitting outside the sheltered housing complex on Morningside Road as workers helped a wheelchair-bound elderly woman into the vehicle.

The woman was scheduled to attend Liberton Hospital for her regular weekly treatment on Thursday last week.

But the ambulance was slapped with a 60 fine for illegally parking on the road during a peak rush-hour time. An ambulance worker, who refused to be named, said: "I think it is pretty disgusting to be perfectly honest. I can not think of any rhyme or reason why they would ticket an ambulance which carries sick people to hospital."

A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: "We are surprised. Our staff do an essential job of caring for patients and ensuring they get to hospitals on time with the appropriate and necessary care.

"It would be impossible for us to help patients like this woman who is wheelchair-bound down floors without parking right outside.

"We are rarely stationary for more than a few minutes. It means we have to put more time in administration to try and get this cancelled."

The ticket has also been blasted by a leading motoring group . An AA spokesman said: "Don’t they ever learn? It has been a bad week for the parking attendants in Edinburgh.

"It is a lack of discretion. They should look at their customer care training and PR awareness.

"At the very least, the parking attendant should have checked where the driver was."

The Conservatives also slammed the Enforcers. Tory transport spokesman Allan Jackson said: "These people need proper training and they need to apply their own rules. If this is all part of their training then it’s grossly inadequate."

Today, a spokeswoman for Edinburgh City Council confessed there had been a major blunder.

"This ticket has quite clearly been issued wrongly by the parking attendant, and we will be asking our contractor CPS to improve their training on this issue as a matter of urgency. Of course, ambulance service vehicles should not receive a ticket and we would have cancelled it immediately if the ambulance service had contacted us."

A spokeswoman for CPS apologised for the ticket: "In this instance, our parking attendant took the view that this vehicle was not an emergency one and therefore issued a ticket.

"As a result, we are in the process of re-issuing guidelines to our parking attendants relating to vehicles which are exempt from parking restrictions, as this is where the confusion lies.

"We are sensitive to the feelings of users of this vehicle and apologise for any inconvenience. It is our understanding that the ticket will be cancelled."

Last Tuesday, the Evening News revealed the Enforcers had ticketed a hearse as it waited to go to a funeral.

The vehicle was parked on double yellow lines outside McKenzie & Millar Funeral Directors in Leith when it was spotted by a parking attendant and hit with a 60 fine.