Wiltshire Publications

RUH parking comes under fire again

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 at 11:25 am.

PARKING at Bath’s Royal United Hospital has come under fire again after one family received two parking fines after visiting the accident and emergency department when their mother fell ill.

The complaints echo those shared with the White Horse News earlier this year when the paper was inundated with local people saying they had been unfairly sent £80 charges, despite paying for parking when they visited the hospital.

Other complaints made at the time included, people being fined despite paying the correct amount for parking; that they were being fined despite registering their blue badge; that the pay machine did not charge them the correct amount; that the signage is poor; that they typed their registration in wrong but didn’t know; and it wasn’t clear how to use the system. And now there are concerns that little has changed.

After taking their elderly and disabled mother to A&E in October, Kelly Rowe and her sister both received a £80 parking from ParkingEye – the company who run the parking scheme for RUH – despite Kelly following instructions from hospital staff about where to park after registering her mother’s disabled parking permit and Kelly’s sister paying the amount requested from the parking meter on her departure.

About her experience, Kelly said, “My mother holds a disabled parking permit so I parked in a disabled bay outside A&E and after reading the instructions on disabled parking on the machine outside, as instructed, I took the disabled parking permit to the desk to register it. I explained to the lady on reception where I was parked and if it was ok to stay there as there isn’t any clear signage. The lady replied that I could stay there as long as I needed as I was in a disabled bay and had registered the blue badge.

“As you can imagine I was then furious to receive a demand from Parking Eye for £80. Why are the RUH, and other hospitals allowing their patients to be treated like this? These vile companies like Parking Eye are preying on the vulnerable and their families and making huge amounts of money – none of which the cash-strapped NHS receives – and the NHS condones this behaviour. It appears that Parking Eye are now demanding £80 from people who have paid or registered as disabled.

“I have contacted the RUH asking them to have both of these fines cancelled but they are refusing to do so as they say it is not their problem. On top of all the stress caused by my mother being ill, she, my sister and myself now have to deal with Parking Eye and a total lack of respect from the RUH.”

White Horse News contacted the RUH for a comment and received this reply  from their senior communications officer, Simon Whitby, “We advise anyone who wishes to challenge a parking charge notice to follow the process outlined in their letter and appeal to ParkingEye, which will investigate their circumstances. We work closely with ParkingEye and our car park users and patient groups, seeking their views and comments, to further improve the parking experience at the RUH.”

A ParkingEye spokesperson said, “ParkingEye implements the Trust’s tariffs and appeals policy on behalf of Royal United Hospitals Bath. ParkingEye is a member of the British Parking Association (BPA) and follows its code of practice with respect to signage.

“In one of the two cases presented to ParkingEye, the driver received a parking charge because they parked in the A&E drop off zone for over two hours, where there is a maximum stay of 20 minutes for all motorists as detailed on the signs in the car park.

“In the second case, the driver received a parking charge because they did not pay for enough time or enter their correct vehicle registration.

“ParkingEye encourages people who have received a parking charge to appeal if they think there are mitigating circumstances, and instructions about how to do this are detailed on all communications and on our website. We have not yet received an appeal from either of the drivers in the two cases presented to ParkingEye.”

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