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Hospital staff fined for on site parking


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Some advice needed re hospital parking fines please. I work at a hospital which charges staff on a monthly basis to park within designated areas of the hospital site. Employees who work during daytime hours often have to park (and pay)on the public/visitor pay&display carpark as staff areas are full.

I, along with several other colleagues only work nights (21.00-07.00). There are of course an abundance of parking spaces available between these hours, proving that the NHS admin/managerial staff far outnumber 'shop-floor' staff :sad: The staff parking areas are in little used areas of the hospital site, dark, poorly lit, lonely areas thus many night staff prefer and choose, for their own safety to park within the many unused disabled bays that are available. However, there have been several incidences where staff have recieved 'official' notices on their cars stating they have a £30.00 fine to pay. I have explained to some of these very concerned/morried/panicking staff re private parking 'fines' v council/police fines, I have suggested they do not pay, unfortunately they, without exception have paid up in fear of CCJ's, bailiff action etc...

Could someone advise that the advice I am offering is indeed correct. Some of us, myself included, do not subscribe to the hospital parking scheme (£10-15 per month), in reality when working nights there should be no requirement to in practical terms, there are always 'free' spaces available. I also disagree with having to pay on site parking to attend a place of employment that has many spaces available. We as nurses/midwives/doctors etc have to pay enough out of our salary as it is with professional body registration fees, union fees etc.

Any help/advice will be appreciated, I finally need to clarify to my colleagues our position re these parking tickets. Many thanks in advance.

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I think you are right in the sense that these are not enforceable, and the issuing company is extremely unlikely to ever try and make anyone pay - they just send scary letters, because to all intents and purposes, that's all they can do.

 

However you should all check your employment contracts don't contain clauses about observing rules and regs, which are worded in such a way that you could fall foul of them if you are seen to be flouting the parking scheme. This is between you and your employer however - a parking enforcement company would have nothing to do with your employment.

 

I would also say that I think the best way forward is to try and get management to change their concessions for staff. Night-time safety is a real issue, especially for female staff, and it would probably be more constructive to try and get better facilities than to continue to break the rules. Your call on that of course. Your union could be interested in helping you put your case.

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I think you are right in the sense that these are not enforceable, and the issuing company is extremely unlikely to ever try and make anyone pay - they just send scary letters, because to all intents and purposes, that's all they can do.

 

However you should all check your employment contracts don't contain clauses about observing rules and regs, which are worded in such a way that you could fall foul of them if you are seen to be flouting the parking scheme. This is between you and your employer however - a parking enforcement company would have nothing to do with your employment.

 

I would also say that I think the best way forward is to try and get management to change their concessions for staff. Night-time safety is a real issue, especially for female staff, and it would probably be more constructive to try and get better facilities than to continue to break the rules. Your call on that of course. Your union could be interested in helping you put your case.

 

Many thanks for your reply. I suspect you are correct when you suggested that our employment contracts may contain a clause phrased ambiguously in order to also be used for parking 'violations'. I would imagine, though I am not certain that the hospital uses a private company to enforce the parking,however, I do know that hospital security/porters are trained to do the job also.

Having worked within the NHS for many years I have to say that the management route is unlikely to achieve any positive results. Safety of staff does not appear to be high on their agenda. There has been a parking problem at the hospital for many years, this has been exacerbated by building work over the last few years. To ease this problem the hospital hired a car park which was a 20 minute walk from the main site. Unfortunately this car park was within an industrial estate which also forms part of the red light district of the area!!! This caused much protest amongst staff, particularly women, who put it to management that it was unsafe to expect staff to use this carpark on dark mornings, when finishing a late shift (21.30) and also for night staff. Despite complaints from several female members of staff who had been asked if they were "looking for business", management insisted there was no problem!!! We were reassured that security staff /transport would be available to escort staff to the car park....this ideal was never achieved. The car park was so little used that the few staff who were brave enough to use it described it as a remote and lonely place. Unions became involved in this dispute too but to no avail.

I guess there is no easy solution to our problem. On a personal basis I will e mail management and put our case re safety and the extortionate cost of parking permits, £10-£15 per month is not a great deal of money, but I have to be honest it is more than I can afford and I'm sure others are also in my position. Meanwhile I shall continue to park in what I believe to be a safe area, ignore the ticket if I receive one, then wait to see the consequences of not paying!

Once again thank you for taking the time to offer your advice :-D

Edited by Jach
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Hello there

 

On two or three occasions my friend who is a nurse has been ticketed for parking in the wrong spot. Again he pays a monthly fee which is around £15. I have told him never to pay them despite the fact that the trust then sends through photographic evidence showing his car parked "illegally". The thing is they threaten you and say they will get all the details from Swansea which might do but that is all threats and said to intimidate you! If the private car parking company or the trust were to take you down the Civil court route they would only be able to pursue you for their loses of revenue and since you pay a monthly fee to park there isn't any financial loss to recover from you. I have reassured my friend that if his case went to court and it cost him money I would reimburse him everything so he has taken my advice and never paid! Guess what the trust or the parking company have on neither occasion pursued him. He has ignored all their threatening letters and just put them away for future reference but after 18 months he scanned them and shredded them. For the trust or the parking firm to take you to court and I believe it has to be the trust that does that for legal reasons to do with trespass, they would need to know who drove the car and parked it on the trust property and merely having the registered owners details is not enough to succeed in the county court. They cant clamp you or do anything like that and I bet you havent seen any one in the carpark that has been clamped. If you want the ultimate proof of how your trust handles things I might just be inclined to send them a letter as a Freedom of Information request asking how many members of the public and staff in the last twelve months have been sued in the civil courts for non payment of a penalty charge notice being unsatisfied. How many penalty notices are outstanding and overdue for payment within the last twelve months and whatever other info you want from them about parking. They will have to give you an answer its their legal duty to that and you might just get the reassurance you need to convince yourself and others to ignore these silly threatograms. The trust will have a specialist department that deals with Freedom of information requests and they have to reply within 40 days of receiving your request. These charges are theft of money from you and they are relying upon your ignorance and that is as I see it wholly wrong. Many trusts are now increasing their parking charges to staff and offering salary sacrifice but this is illegal and needs challenging. I have been in touch with one or two trusts about this and my conversations with them is ongoing. I received a similar ticket in Asda for £60 reduced to £30 if I paid it within seven days or something I have completely ignored it and they havent pursued it. Anyway, I hope that inspires you a little and that you will be able to act on it. If you need more of the legal stuff there is info on the net and I believe in CAG's own pages.

Edited by Pimlico
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