Parkingeye: More complaints over parking fines at Harrogate hospital
Last updated Jan 26, 2024

More people have complained of unfair parking fines at Harrogate hospital under its new car park arrangement.

Parkingeye, which operates car parks across 30 NHS trusts, was brought in to manage the hospital’s automated number plate recognition system car park in September 2023.

At the time, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust said the ticketless system would help to reduce congestion on Lancaster Park Road.

The Stray Ferret has received numerous letters and complaints that the company has issued unfair parking fines.

Now, more people have come forward to raise further incidents.

Jonathan Heap said he visited the hospital on November 23 to see his consultant and entered the car park as the signage said spaces were available.

Mr Heap said he drove around the car park “five times” but was unable to find a parking space. Instead, he went to Willaston Car Park and paid £4 at the kiosk to park.

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However, a week later, he received a £70 fine from Parkingeye. He appealed the fine and said he had already paid a fee to park.

His appeal was turned down. A letter from the company, which has been seen by the Stray Ferret, told Mr Heap that signage said the car park was for “permit holders and authorised vehicles only”.

It added that “there is no record that the vehicle was authorised to park on site on the date of the event”.

However, the company offered to reduce Mr Heap’s fine to £35.

Mr Heap told the Stray Ferret that the system in place was “atrocious” and that the time taken to park meant he was unable to see his consultant.

He said:

“I am £39 out of pocket as well as 30 miles of fuel and no hospital appointment all because of the atrocious system they have in place.”

‘A great deal of stress’

Harrogate resident Peter Fabretti also wrote to the Stray Ferret to outline his experience with Parkingeye.

On November 26, Mr Fabretti arrived at the hospital and paid a £4 fee to park. He described the machine as appearing “very slow” and could not provide a printed receipt despite being requested to do so.

However, Mr Fabretti said he was able to demonstrate he had paid by credit card statement.

He received a £70 parking fine on December 2. Mr Fabretti appealed the decision, but this was refused as Parkingeye said it “had not received sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the terms and conditions were not breached”.

Mr Fabretti has since taken the matter to the parking arbitrator, Parking On Private Land Appeals.

On Friday, he was told by POPLA that Parkingeye had withdrawn his appeal and cancelled his parking charge.

Mr Fabretti told the Stray Ferret:

“This has caused a great deal of stress to myself leading up to the festive period which was totally unnecessary and the nightmare is still continuing.

“I only wish that I could make a counter claim against Parkingeye for the stress and total waste of my time trying to sort out their mess after all we are all parking at the hospital for a reason.”

The Stray Ferret has approached Parkingeye for comment.

Parkingeye has a contract to manage Harrogate hospital’s car park until October 2028.

The company makes its income from fines at the car park, while the hospital trust keeps money from fees charged.

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