Hospital parking fury - calls for a re-think

Vascular surgeon Jesus Barandiaran with his parking ticket 110514a

Vascular surgeon Jesus Barandiaran with his parking ticket 110514a

0
Have your say

THE Evening News today calls on Scarborough Hospital chiefs to re-think the new parking strategy after staff and visitors were hit with tickets on the first day of enforcement.

THE Evening News today calls on Scarborough Hospital chiefs to re-think the new parking strategy after staff and visitors were hit with tickets on the first day of enforcement.

Parking attendants were out in force yesterday issuing 25 £60 tickets to those who had not paid and displayed.

The Evening News has suggested that some of the furore could be defused by changing the rules to ask for payment on exit rather than arrival, especially as patients do not know how long to pay for in case an appointment overruns, or if there are unforeseen delays in receiving treatment or in visiting a loved one.

People parking on the kerbs were also hit yesterday, despite patients and staff alike insisting that all the spaces were taken up and that they had no option.

One of the first people to get a ticket was vascular surgeon Jesus Barandiaran, who has worked at the hospital since 2003. He parked on a section of footpath as when he arrived for work there were no spaces left. Mr Barandiaran, who had a staff permit clearly displayed on the dashboard, said: “There was no space! Am I supposed to dump the car in town and come back to work an hour later?

“If they want us to park properly they need to build the proper facilities.

“It’s completely stupid and I’m fed up with it.”

Justin Emms, of Bridlington, also got hit with a fine for not parking in a bay after coming to pick up his wife, Natasha, and newborn son, Joshua, from the maternity ward.

The 35-year-old joiner said: “There were no spaces and it took me half an hour to find this space on the footpath. I have paid, but I’ve got a ticket for not parking in a bay.

“I think it’s pathetic. The midwives I spoke to were shocked - they’re not happy about it either.”

Mr Emms added that he had paid £3 yesterday before getting the parking ticket and had spent £12 on pay and display over the weekend while visiting his wife and baby.

He said: “I don’t like to make a fuss but I will contest this. It’s a joke.”

One member of staff, who did not wish to be named, said: “I come to work at 10am and there’s no chance of finding a space.

“Stress for the patients is my major concern. They were worried enough about the parking situation before - and they weren’t even getting fined.

“Everybody is so disgusted with it. If the facilities were good and there were enough spaces people wouldn’t mind so much.”

The parking fines are £60, or £30 if paid within 14 days, and are being administered by an external company.

A hospital spokeswoman explained that enforcement had been introduced for “safety reasons” due to people parking improperly and blocking buses, ambulance and delivery vehicles.

Richard Vincent, head of facilities, said: “We have issued twenty five tickets today, the majority of which were issued to cars parked on footpaths, in ambulance bays or causing an obstruction or safety hazard to pedestrians and wheelchair users.

“Although the site was very busy today the on-site congestion was greatly reduced. The bus route was kept clear, the buses were not delayed and important medical deliveries took place without the usual problems and delays.”

The Evening News put it to the hospital that given the concerns about enforcement, especially patients not knowing how long to pay for in case an appointment overruns, whether they would consider a rethink.

A spokeswoman said: “Having just introduced this scheme it is unlikely that we would introduce a pay on exit scheme in the near future.”

COMPLETE OUR POLL ABOVE RIGHT TO LET US KNOW YOUR VIEWS