THE now notorious Parking Eye system at Queen’s Hospital has snared yet another victim, who claims a malfunction in a machine forced him to get a fine.
David Whyman, of Craven Street, Burton, is adamant that he put in the correct registration number when he went to pay his fee, but just over a week later he received a fine.
When the 65-year-old sought out his ticket to send and prove that the penalty was unjustified, he found a random selection of letters and numbers which he claimed he had not typed in.
“I know my registration number off by heart, and I remember punching it into the machine,” he said.
“It’s just bizarre. The number on the ticket isn’t even a real number.”
Mr Whyman, who runs a glass engraving business in Burton, said he was so annoyed by the issue that he would be prepared to fight Parking Eye rather than pay the £70 penalty for abusing the system.
He said: “I think it’s wrong. I have paid my £2 for parking and I have done everything the machine asked me to do, and I still got a fine.
“As far as I’m concerned I have done everything right and the machine has done everything wrong.”
He said he had submitted an appeal against the charge, but had not yet received a response.
Mr Whyman is not the first person to suffer problems with the machines, which have been plaguing patients and visitors since they were installed.
Many people struggle to understand the system, which does not give out a ticket as they park.
Penalty notices are sent out automatically if there is a discrepancy between the information provided by the cameras and the machines, which are operated by Parking Eye on behalf of Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Bosses at the trust have reviewed the issues raised by car park users and have agreed to make some changes, but stand by the belief that it is the best system for the site in Belvedere Road.
Head of facilities Geoff Neild said the change in system had dramatically reduced the amount of people abusing the car park, and had boosted revenue for the site, which costs £1 million a year to run, according to the hospital.
Responding to Mr Whyman’s complaints, a spokesman for Parking Eye said: “Car park users enter into a contract to pay the appropriate amount for the duration of their visit or not exceed free parking limits.
“We understand that genuine mistakes are sometimes made and therefore we operate an audited appeals process and encourage people to appeal if they feel there are mitigating circumstances, such as a user accidentally entering the incorrect registration number. In this case, no appeal has yet been received.
“Parking Eye is a member of the British Parking Association’s approved operator scheme. Members of the BPA are required to follow a Code of Practice that is supported by the AA and the DVLA.”