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Burton's Queen's Hospital parking changes

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 05, 2014

By Laura Hammond

Burton's Queen's Hospital parking changes

Burton's Queen's Hospital parking changes

Comments (12)

THE controversial parking system at Queen's Hospital has been simplified following a barrage of complaints from patients and visitors.

Easier tariffs, better equipment and improved signage are among the raft of alterations put in place at the hospital, after countless people accused the organisation of making the system deliberately complicated so more people would be fined.

Though the hated Parking Eye machinery will still remain – and exasperated motorists still will not be told how much they owe – bosses believe the changes will make a big difference for people using the car park.

Head of facilities Geoff Neild said: "We are sorry for any distress, confusion and upset that patients and their relatives and carers have experienced since the new automatic number plate recognition system was introduced in late 2013.

"The most common complaint received is that the machines do not tell you how much you owe after you input your car registration number.

"The complexity of our hospital car parks, which means we have cameras at multiple entrances and exits, made the cost of a bespoke system – as operated in supermarket sites with a single entrance and exit – prohibitive.

"So the solution that the independent review panel recommended was to drastically simplify the payment tariff system."

From yesterday, it will cost £2 to park for up to two hours, £3 for up to six hours and £6 for up to 24 hours.

Many people believe they have been unfairly fined after parking at the Belvedere Road site. The problem is often caused by people not knowing how to use the machinery, as the process has been described as unclear by those who use it.

It is hoped that new machines and more and better signs will ease the problem.

It is the second time that changes have been promised at the site. Back in March, when the first alterations were announced, chief executive Helen Ashley said she 'deeply regretted' any upset which had been caused by the system.

Parking fees go to the hospital to fund the car park, which chiefs say costs £1 million a year to run. Fines go to operating company Parking Eye.

An appeals system is still in place for anybody who feels they have been unfairly charged.

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12 comments

  • Best Speakeer  |  September 03 2014, 8:17AM

    The Burton Mail must be praised for its coverage of Hospital Parking, and must take some of the credit for influencing Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary. It is certainly time that he did something about hospital parking. He advises that - Contracts should not be let on any basis that incentivises fines, eg 'income from penalties only'. The system at the Burton Hospitals uses this system. According to the Chief Executive, in a letter to me, parking at a hospital is the same if you had parked in any other car park, of course it is not; at other car parks you have choice, but you do not at a hospital when rushing in an injured or sick person, or visiting a dying relative, does she live on the same planet as the rest of us? And she constantly refers to Parking Penalty Notices, which the British Parking Association forbids its members t use , as it implies criminality - only the police and local authorities can issue these. It is PARKING CHARGE NOTICES, (an invoice), that ParkingEye issues. This bullying and intimidating wording has been the basis of many complaints when complaining about these contractors. Then there is the NHS Constitution, its first words are 'The NHS belongs to the people' and NHS SERVICES are free of charge . . .' also, 'Patients come first in everything we do .... Individual organisations will develop and build upon these values.' Clearly, by the very way it operates, ParkingEye cannot comply with the constitution. Please lobby your MP with your suggestions - do not let Hunt's guidance fall by the way-side!

  • ianpage123  |  August 29 2014, 9:04PM

    Is there any further word on the parking at Burton Hospital

  • dottykat  |  August 09 2014, 1:05AM

    The only changes that will be considered an improvement for anyone visiting the hospital is for the parking machines to be upgraded to advise their customers how much they need to put into the machine. Otherwise the entire system just needs removing and the old parking barriers put back in place. No amount of instructions, posters, warning signs, etc., are an improvement and until the system displays the amount owing it is not a subject that is going to go away. I would have thought the hospital had enough problems already without having created this on top. Wonder what the Keogh report would make of all the complaints being made by visitors to the hospital...

    |   3
  • mattlong  |  August 08 2014, 8:56PM

    Did my stint at Burton hospital for the chaplaincy team today. Visiting the sick on my ward and trying to cheer them up was the easy part of the day but I failed miserably in the hard part of the job which is listening to visiting relatives moaning about the defunct car parking system. I tried counselling; I tried distraction techniques and even had a quick prayer in the chapel on my way back out but all to no avail - parking eye still going strong when I drove home despite my attempts at divine intervention!

    |   1
  • lizzyben  |  August 05 2014, 10:47PM

    So the Management seem to think that we are thick and will accept these changes as a positive action. Stop treating the patients and visitors as 'cash cows'. This parking system is designed to rip us off. The system registers the arrival/exit time of a vehicle from which ever entrance is used therefore with a minimum software upgrade the system can display the parking fee. All the management have to do is tell Parking Eye to upgrade the system for free or they will use another contractor - its call competition. Also I challenge the Management to back up the statement that the car park 'costs £1 million to run' by publishing the Car park costs. The Car Park has not been re-surfaced for years and lighting maintenance cost can't be very high - therefore they must be very expensive Car Park Staff ......

    |   7
  • mattlong  |  August 05 2014, 5:40PM

    As a volunteer worker at the hospital I'm fortunate that due to automated number plate recognition I'm allowed immediate access to the car park with the barrier rising automatically for me. This being said on numerous occasions in recent months I've been caught up in queues of traffic with confused people standing by the parking eye meter wondering what to do and so on. Many of these people are in a distressed state because they have been visiting sick relatives and some will have rushed to get to the hospital as it will have been an emergency. To set up a system whereby stressed and disorientated relatives have to remember what time they parked and then pay accordingly is diabolical. Despite the intervention of the MP and despite continued coverage in the Burton Mail still the senior management at the hospital seem desperate to cling on to the remnants of a failed system. Poor leadership and ethically dubious.

    |   9
  • DannyK  |  August 05 2014, 5:18PM

    What a nonsense to blame the complexity of entrances and exits! There's only one of each in the main hospital. Raising the minimum parking charge by 150% is also a scam, which basically sums up ParkingEye's system.

    |   10
  • DannyK  |  August 05 2014, 5:16PM

    Parking Eye have no legal right to "fine" anyone. Only the Police and the Council have the powers to do that. They would have to prove in a court of law that they lost money by a motorist parking longer than they'd paid for. It would cost them at least £400 to hire a solicitor to pursue such a case, which is why these charges are legally uneconomical and unenforceable.

    |   8
  • Stacker  |  August 05 2014, 12:51PM

    "From yesterday, it will cost £2 to park for up to two hours, £3 for up to six hours and £6 for up to 24 hours." But what they don't tell you is - if you go to the kiosk (I think he's open until about 6pm) You can get a weekly pass for £8 - Therefore if you are visiting someone for more than 2 days you will save money.

    |   8
  • add74  |  August 05 2014, 10:23AM

    So the minimum charge has increased from 80p to £2.00, and this is being sold as a positive for those paying to use the car park?

    |   11

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