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Hospital staff using disabled parking


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Just wondering how the law stands on this, but in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, it is nearly impossible to get a parking space if you are disabled. I just assumed it was because of the amount of disabled persons visiting the hospital, until my partner's grandfather noticed one day that hardly any of the cars had permits.

 

Anyway, to cut a long story short, he blew his top as his wife is in a wheelchair, and this is not the first time this has happened to him. He blocked the exit with his car, and started noting down all of the car registration numbers. The next thing a load of worried looking staff appeared, saying the cars were theirs and they 'had an agreement' that they could park there. When he asked who with, they couldn't answer.

 

The staff have their own car park, and I know from experience that you have to wait for 20 minutes sometimes to get parked in the public space during visiting hours, but, no offence to any nurses out there, but that is no the fault of a disabled person. If there are space issues, they should just do what the rest of us able bodied people have to do and damn well get to their work half and hour earlier and get a proper space. The Royal is a hospital that people get referred to from all over N Ireland, some people travel a long way to get to their appointments.

 

What are the legalities of this, considering it is a hospital owned car park?

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He blocked the exit with his car, and started noting down all of the car registration numbers. The next thing a load of worried looking staff appeared, saying the cars were theirs and they 'had an agreement' that they could park there.

 

Personally I would write to the Chief Exec of the hospital 9with all your details), The PCT (if there is one) Your local MP & Councillors.

Also see of the Hospitals complaints procedure would get involved.

Also write to your local paper.

 

I would kick up a great big Storm..

 

PKea

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Good idea, I have to visit the Royal soon, I think I'll just take a few photo's on my phone for proof. I have found a site called Baywatch Campaign - Home Page, as well, they are campaigning against the abuse of diabled parking spaces. There is a name and shame page that I have sent an email to. It will probably get a faster result by embarassing them.

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However, leaving the moral issues aside, if this is a private car park then disabled spaces are not enforceable.

 

For hospital staff, you would have to rely on the management taking (or threatening) disciplinary action. For the general public, any sanction is far more difficult to apply.

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I suspected as much, I think the route of the Belfast papers is a good bet, the hospital won't want that kind of publicity.

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Parking at the RVH is a complete nightmare, for staff, patients and visitors, a situation not helped by the ongoing roadworks on the Westlink and at the RVH site itself.

 

There are several car parks, but they are hopelessly inadequate. When I occasionally have to see patients at the RVH, I usually get someone to drive me there, drop me off and pick me up later, rather than try to park. It is sometimes possible to park on Mullhouse Road, however. There is also a new multi-storey car park at City Hospital, and there's a free shuttle bus to RVH - not ideal, but may be worth considering if you're stuck.

 

As for staff using disabled spaces, this is who to contact:

 

Consumer Relations Department

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

Trust Headquarters

Nore Villa

Knockbracken Healthcare Park

Saintfield Road

Belfast BT8 8BH

 

 

 

 

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However, leaving the moral issues aside, if this is a private car park then disabled spaces are not enforceable.

 

For hospital staff, you would have to rely on the management taking (or threatening) disciplinary action. For the general public, any sanction is far more difficult to apply.

 

 

 

I was interested in your comment Pat, that disabled spaces are not enforceable in a private hospital car park. As a member of staff at a hospital, I parked in the staff car park in a disabled bay in desperation at not having found a space and due on duty with minutes to spare. I received a PCN for £65 which I refused to pay. (I already pay for parking as a permit holder.) I sent a letter with the help of the excellent advice document on this site, which one of my colleagues also used for an identical "offence". Her fine was overturned, mine was not. I have since received a letter from a debt collection agency for £153, which of course I will not pay. Just wondered what info you might have which will back up my next letter.

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I was interested in your comment Pat, that disabled spaces are not enforceable in a private hospital car park. As a member of staff at a hospital, I parked in the staff car park in a disabled bay in desperation at not having found a space and due on duty with minutes to spare. I received a PCN for £65 which I refused to pay. (I already pay for parking as a permit holder.) I sent a letter with the help of the excellent advice document on this site, which one of my colleagues also used for an identical "offence". Her fine was overturned, mine was not. I have since received a letter from a debt collection agency for £153, which of course I will not pay. Just wondered what info you might have which will back up my next letter.

 

It is simply a further private parking ticket, with all that implies for the need for payment.(see threads)

 

The only difference is that the car park is at a hospital rather than a retail park.

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Parking at the RVH is a complete nightmare, for staff, patients and visitors, a situation not helped by the ongoing roadworks on the Westlink and at the RVH site itself.

 

It seems the half of Belfast is being dug up! I got lost the first time I went to the Royal as the AA route planner had me looking for roundabouts that don't exist anymore. The parking situation is awful, it can be stressful enough for people who are sick to get to the hospital without having to worry about anything else. Thanks for the info, will get a few pics first though as evidence, otherwise they may just gloss over it.

 

It's bad enough for someone like myself who isn't sick having to drive an hour and a half to get there, battle through city traffic and then queue to get parked. I can fully understand the frustration of a disabled person. I have to admit, I had a good laugh when I heard what he had done, I wouldn't have had the nerve.

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I was interested in your comment Pat, that disabled spaces are not enforceable in a private hospital car park. As a member of staff at a hospital, I parked in the staff car park in a disabled bay in desperation at not having found a space and due on duty with minutes to spare.

 

Maybe you can get together with weegirl and discuss the rights and wrongs of parking in Blue Badge bays.

The irony of these type of forums is that they are a double edged sword. People are very happy to find out where they can park without getting fined or how to get off PCNs but at the same time forget that one day the same information will be used by others much to the annoyance of those that are inconvenienced. Its great to get off a PCN for parking in a Permit bay for example but not so funny when cars park free in the space you have paid a fortune to park in yourself and avoid any consequences.

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OK green and mean, I take on board your comments and accept your implied criticism. I would only like to point out that I was using a staff permit holders only, barrier controlled car park and not a car park for patients. I would never use a disabled bay in a patient car park or indeed any other car park anywhere else. There are at least 10 blue badge parking bays, in one of the staff car parks, which lie empty day in day out because there are many more disabled parking bays than disabled staff who drive to work. So yes, I agree in principle that there are no "rights" in parking in disabled bays, but in this one instance my conscience was clear as I knew I was not depriving a blue badge holder of a parking bay. I happen to think the punishment should fit the crime(which of course it isn't) and that a £65 penalty is extortionate.

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I happen to think the punishment should fit the crime(which of course it isn't) and that a £65 penalty is extortionate.

 

It is supposed to be a deterent, if you made it a tenner or twenty quid even more people would take the risk and park there. If its clearly marked it shouldn't matter if the penalty was £1000 as the choice whether to park there or not as the case may be is clearly with the motorist. Studies have shown that the higher the penalty the greater the compliance its human nature.

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However, leaving the moral issues aside, if this is a private car park then disabled spaces are not enforceable.

 

For hospital staff, you would have to rely on the management taking (or threatening) disciplinary action. For the general public, any sanction is far more difficult to apply.

 

I agree Pat upto a point. All hospitals like supermarkets provide disabled parking in order to comply with disability legislation.

 

However if they don't police them they are a waste of time & their failure to enforce the rule amounts to disability discrimination for which the hospital or supermarket can be brought to account under the Disability Discrimination laws.

 

In other words by allowing the able bodied to use these bays unhindered they are discriminating against the disabled

 

I understand that in some countries particularly the States if you park in a DB the fine can be $1,000 or even prison for persistant offenders

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It is supposed to be a deterent, if you made it a tenner or twenty quid even more people would take the risk and park there. If its clearly marked it shouldn't matter if the penalty was £1000 as the choice whether to park there or not as the case may be is clearly with the motorist. Studies have shown that the higher the penalty the greater the compliance its human nature.

 

This is private parking; it is based in contract law. UK law does not allow this sort of deterrence to be applied.

 

Clearly marked or not, a private company cannot levy fines or penalties.

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I agree Pat upto a point. All hospitals like supermarkets provide disabled parking in order to comply with disability legislation.

 

However if they don't police them they are a waste of time & their failure to enforce the rule amounts to disability discrimination for which the hospital or supermarket can be brought to account under the Disability Discrimination laws.

 

In other words by allowing the able bodied to use these bays unhindered they are discriminating against the disabled

 

 

Something of a stretch there I think JonCris.

 

Using your argument any able-bodied person parking in a DB is guilty of an offence under the DDA; likewise any able-bodied person using a disabled toilet.

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It is supposed to be a deterent, if you made it a tenner or twenty quid even more people would take the risk and park there. If its clearly marked it shouldn't matter if the penalty was £1000 as the choice whether to park there or not as the case may be is clearly with the motorist. Studies have shown that the higher the penalty the greater the compliance its human nature.

 

If people are taking a chance and parking in disabled bays despite thinking they will be charged heavily, then that is a clear sign that there is a lack of non-disabled parking. For someone arriving at hospital, just coming back when there are more spaces free is hardly ever going to be an option. Instead of merely seeking to extract revenge it would be better to make more spaces available so that it becomes a non issue.

Post by me are intended as a discussion of the issues involved, as these are of general interest to me and others on the forum. Although it is hoped such discussion will be of use to readers, before exposing yourself to risk of loss you should not rely on any principles discussed without confirming the situation with a qualified person.

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If people are taking a chance and parking in disabled bays despite thinking they will be charged heavily, then that is a clear sign that there is a lack of non-disabled parking. For someone arriving at hospital, just coming back when there are more spaces free is hardly ever going to be an option. Instead of merely seeking to extract revenge it would be better to make more spaces available so that it becomes a non issue.

 

Would you rather the NHS spent money and used land for medical purposes or building car parks? They have BB bays as disabled people in most cases have no other option than to drive and need to park near their destination. Its impossible to ban staff from using car parking so the more onsite spaces you provide the more will be taken by staff parking all day with no parking still available to patients and visitors. Most people use BB bays as they are bone idle and its the nearest place to park near the entrance.

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