Fury as ‘jobsworth’ traffic warden tries to ticket HEARSE during a funeral

Justin Burgess with parking ticket

A 'jobsworth' traffic warden tried to ticket a funeral hearse

PEN News
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 02/03/2024

- 15:38

Locals have raged online, branding the warden 'absolutely disgusting'

A ‘jobsworth’ traffic warden tried to ticket a hearse during a funeral service, prompting a huge wave of backlash.

Mourners emerged from the send-off at Welwyn Garden City United Reformed Church in Hertfordshire to discover that parking enforcers had tried to fine a funeral cortège.

Funeral director Justin Burgess said: “We were parked outside the church with a hearse and two limousines, attending a funeral inside the church.

“It’s very limited where you can park funeral vehicles to get access to a church. This particular church is on the side of a road; that’s the only place there is to park.

Welwyn Garden City United Reformed Church

Mourners emerged from the send-off at Welwyn Garden City United Reformed Church to discover the shocking scene

Google Street View

“I came out at the end of a service. I saw the traffic warden there, and he got his little pad out to start ticketing us, and I said ‘you’ve got to be joking’.

“I said ‘we’re only going to be 10-15 minutes more, can you just go for a walk round the block?’

“He said ‘no’. I said, ‘have a bit of compassion, this is a funeral.’ And he started remonstrating with me.”

Burgess then went back inside the church to check on the family of the deceased, hoping the traffic warden would change his mind.

However, when Burgess went outside again, he saw the warden photographing the licence plates of the vehicle involved in the procession.

After being challenged, the traffic warden called for backup from “head office”.


“The woman on the other end of the phone was just vile,” Burgess said. “She was saying ‘just ticket them, just ticket them. They’re breaking the law!’

“And I sort of shouted over his shoulder, I said ‘look, as I explained to your colleague here, please have a little bit of feeling – this is a funeral, this is the last thing the family wants’.

“And she said ‘right, that’s it, I’m calling the police.’”

He continued: “Unfortunately, in the meantime, the next of kin came out and they were really upset.

“She said ‘are you seriously going to put a ticket on my mum’s hearse? I can’t believe you’re doing this to us.’”

The family of the deceased then made a quick escape before a fine was given out.

Burgess said: “Had we not stood and argued all that time we would have had a ticket, but we just argued and argued, by which time we were ready to leave.

“We’ve got another church, in Hatfield by the station, and it’s almost like they’re waiting in the bushes. The minute the mourners park, they’re out issuing their tickets.”

He added: “I think it’s just a jobsworth doing his job.”

The funeral director shared photos of the awful encounter online, with locals raging.

A parking ticket

The officer tried to issue parking tickets to the hearse


“Absolutely disgusting,” raged one local, whilst another added: “Anyone who has a brain or a heart would look the other way.”

One lady remarked: “It does not matter that no ticket was issued – he caused a grieving family more stress on a day when no one should be hassled, I’m sorry but it’s disgusting on every level.”

A page on the Welwyn Hatfield Council website lists parking exemptions and dispensations and says the council has discretion when it comes to funeral vehicles, including the hearse and cortège.

In a statement, Welwyn Hatfield Council said: “We are aware of an incident involving our parking contractor.

“The contractor requested that a vehicle parked on a pedestrian crossing's zig-zag lines, obstructing the view of pedestrians and approaching traffic, be moved to a safer location.

“Whilst we do operate a dispensation for funeral vehicles, no vehicle can be given a dispensation to park on zig-zags. This poses a safety risk to people crossing the road and could result in a serious accident.

“The funeral party was not present when the contractor initially requested the vehicle to be moved, and we want to reiterate that no parking tickets were issued.”

The statement continued: “We are deeply regretful that this situation caused distress to the funeral party, and we have reached out to the family directly. We have also asked the contractors to review their processes and training, to ensure that all officers can convey safety implications clearly and with the utmost sensitivity.”

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