Harrogate hospital defends criticism of new parking payment system
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Last updated Dec 6, 2023

Harrogate District Hospital has defended appointing Parkingeye to oversee its car parks after criticism from patients.

The hospital brought in the company to operate its new parking arrangements in September, which includes automatic number plate recognition and a ticketless system.

However, some patients and visitors have criticised the decision after being given fines due to problems paying for parking.

Derek Sendrove and his wife, Zhanna, used the hospital car park in October when both were receiving treatment.

Mr Sendrove said the couple had registered their card with the app, which makes it possible to pay for parking via mobile phone.

Derek Sendrove.

Derek Sendrove.

However, on a visit on October 30, which lasted 44 minutes and would cost £4, the card was not recognised. 

Mr Sendrove said the card has been valid every other time they have used the car park.

The couple were subsequently handed a £70 fine by Parkingeye, which Zhanna appealed but was refused. The pair have since taken the decision to Parking On Private Land Appeals, the industry arbitrator.


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Mr Sendrove told the Stray Ferret he felt the incident raised questions over why the hospital chose the parking company in the first place.

He said:

“It seems that Parkingeye are profiting from their own faulty app, and it is also rather surprising that instead of choosing another app, Appy Parking, which is installed throughout the town; for some inscrutable reason, Harrogate hospital have chosen to partner with a different organisation, Parkingeye.”

The Stray Ferret took Mr Sendrove’s concerns to Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust and asked whether it had any response to the question over its choice of provider.

A spokesperson for the trust said:

“Parkingeye has extensive experience of working with NHS organisations and currently manages parking at over 30 NHS trusts and more than 680 healthcare sites. After careful consideration Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust chose Parkingeye to provide a car parking management service at Harrogate District Hospital.

“Since the introduction of the new camera controlled barrierless system at Harrogate District Hospital, congestion has significantly decreased on Lancaster Park Road due to the improved access into our car parks ensuring that visitors can get to their appointments on time and visit their loved ones.

“On occasion a parking charge notice may be issued to motorists who do not follow the parking rules which are displayed on the parking signage.

“A motorist has the opportunity to challenge the decision through Parkingeye’s appeal process. Parkingeye will consider the evidence and circumstances and if it is appropriate may cancel a parking ticket.

“Should the motorist still wish to contest the decision, they can contact Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA), an independent organisation that allows motorists to contest the decisions of parking operators by visiting https://www.popla.co.uk/. POPLA will look at both sides of the appeal, consider the evidence provided and ultimately decide to uphold or overturn the ruling made by the parking management company.”

A Parkingeye spokesperson said:

“Parkingeye has partnered with Harrogate District Hospital since September this year to significantly improve how its car parks operate.

“During this time there has been investment in modern consumer-facing systems which has enhanced accessibility and made parking at the hospital easier and safer for staff, patients and visitors. The system is designed to ensure the efficiency and smooth operation of the hospital by ensuring that patients, visitors and staff park in their allocated car parks.

“The car park features over 30 prominent and highly-visible signs providing information on how to use the car park responsibly, including guidance that patients and visitors must pay on exit using one of the user-friendly payment kiosks or through the Evology payment app.

“The motorist received a parking charge after parking in an area that is reserved for patients and visitors and not making a payment. Our systems also show that the Evology app was working effectively and took a normal level of transactions on October 30th.

“Parkingeye operates a BPA (British Parking Association) audited appeals process, which motorists can use to appeal their parking charge.

“The motorist’s appeal was unsuccessful and is now being reviewed by POPLA, the independent appeals service.”

What’s your experience of using the new Parkingeye app at the hospital? Get in touch on [email protected]

 

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