Outrage as Harrogate hospital parking firm ‘incorrectly’ issues fine
Last updated Dec 28, 2023

A parking company has defended a decision to issue a parking ticket to a motorist at Harrogate District Hospital, despite dropping the charge upon appeal.

Parkeye oversees car parks at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust.

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.

Tamsin O’Brien was visiting a friend at the Lascelles Unit at the hospital on October 24.

She paid £4.15 to park for 45 minutes at the unit, which is part of Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust.

However, she received a fine from Parkingeye on November 2 of £70 despite paying the charge.

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Ms O’Brien appealed the decision, but was told the appeal was unsuccessful on November 11 and that the fine still stood.

She then took the matter to Parking On Private Land Appeals, the industry arbitrator, and a week later received a letter from the company which stated that the fine was dropped.

Ms O’Brien said the company had ignored evidence that she had paid.

She said:

“My experience with Parkingeye was outrageous – it’s one thing to wrongly issue a charge because the company’s tech isn’t working correctly. It’s quite another thing though, to ignore irrefutable evidence that I paid to park, to reject my appeal, and to continue to pursue a charge.

“There will be many people who would find an experience like this very stressful- particularly when they maybe visiting loved ones in hospital who may be seriously ill.”

The Stray Ferret approached Parkingeye to ask why it had issued the fine after Ms O’Brien had paid the parking fee.

A spokesperson for the company said:

“The car park at the Lascelles Unit has eight prominent and highly-visible signs that give motorists clear guidance on how to use the car park responsibly, including guidance that it is staff parking only.

“The motorist parked in an area reserved for staff only without a staff permit and therefore correctly received a parking charge. However, following a review of the case we have cancelled as a gesture of goodwill.

“We would add that Parkingeye operates a BPA (British Parking Association) audited appeals process, which motorists can use to appeal their parking charge. If anyone has mitigating circumstances, we would encourage them to highlight this by appealing.”

However, in a letter outlining its refusal to the her appeal, Parkingeye told Ms O’Brien on November 11:

“We have reviewed the details outlined in your appeal, but we are not in receipt of sufficient evidence to confirm that the terms and conditions were not breached. The signage located at the above car park instructs motorists to enter their full, correct vehicle registration into the payment machine or terminal on site. 

“After reviewing our records, we are unable to locate any vehicle details that match your vehicle registration. We believe this is due to either a major keying error taking place, or no vehicle registration details being entered at all.”

Ms O’Brien said she was “baffled” by Parkingeye’s response to the Stray Ferret and the fact that it did not match her correspondence from the company.

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

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