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Hospital Parking Penalties


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A subject very much in the news lately is the amount of money being raised by hospital trusts through parking charges. Whilst I have no objection in principle to paying a nominal charge, I have a major problem with a £2 minimum charge for what might be a 10 minute stop to drop off or collect, or to have to pay double this amount every day for almost a week to stay in hospital with my young son whilst he was there as an in patient - after all I am not going there for the good of my health......well I am but you know what I mean :roll:

 

Anyway I was just reading in the local paper about a man who rushed his son to A&E and returned to his car to find a £40 ticket and has gained the support of his local Councillor to fight the penalty charge and this got me thinking of interfering in what is a very hot debate. If Trusts are already getting almost £100 million through parking charges then increasing this through penalties is surely obscene. Whilst the Trust say that their appeals process will take account of individual circumstances and be lenient with genuine cases, I wonder how many appeals will be allowed?

 

I seriously thought about e mailing a letter to the local paper in response to the paper pointing out facts learned both here and elsewhere about the unlawful nature of penalty charges and parking on private land (which the hospital car park is). Certainly wouldn't be popular and would spark a debate on the letter pages, but would you do the same or let it go?

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Some NHS Trusts have contracted-out the control of parking to local councils. I worked at a hospital where this was the case. Previously, there were endless problems with vehicles causing obstructions and shoppers and people who worked in nearby offices (usually solicitors) using the hospital car park. Hospital security patrolled the car parks, but not very well.

 

The trust increased the parking charges, and the council's moronic PAs started ticketing cars. Including mine, despite it being in a designated reserved space, with a staff permit and a large 'emergency on call' sign - for 'failing to display a valid ticket'!

 

Effect: the council has made a lot of money, the NHS has lost a lot of goodwill, the solicitors now come in a bit earlier and pay for an all day ticket, and it is just as hard to park as it ever was.

 

Consider this, too:

 

You have an outpatient appointment at 1100. You know that you will be with doctor for about 15 minutes. You arrive 10 minutes early, and pay for an hour's parking. However, the clinic is running late; you can't go and buy more time a) because you may be paying twice for the same period and b) you may miss your appointment. When you have finally seen the doctor you find you have a parking ticket. It seems to me that if the NHS is unable to guarantee that you will be seen promptly, they have no business either charging for parking or ticketing those who overstay through no fault of their own.

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My local nhs hospital refunds your chrge and also if you overshoot your paid ticket will give you aletter to give to the security at parking to let your car go free.

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Couldn't agree more

My eldest had to go from our local A & E, to Winchester then onto Southampton to see a specialist. Each consultation lasted no longer than five minutes but with waiting times, the total cost of parking was £6.

Amongst all the stress of having a son with some illness that each hospital is growing more concerned about, you also have to deal with constantly feeding these machines, and worrying that you will run out of cash.

I don't mind making a token gesture but I do recent having to pay through the nose for the privilege of having a sick child or relative.

The NHS is in theory still a free service after all!

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