NHS staff at Hull’s hospitals have complained at a blitz of parking tickets that they have been receiving. Many say they have been given wrongly in a bid to “claw back money lost”
Image: Hull Live)
An NHS worker has said she has had 10 parking fines as hospital staff claim that they are being targeted in a bid to “claw back money lost” during the pandemic.
Staff have said they have seen more parking tickets given out than normal at hospitals in Hull and have argued that many were wrongly given out, reported HullLive.
The £30 fines are being issued on staff vehicles when seen in the main visitor car park away from the staff zone – but workers say they are often forced to park there due to a lack of space.
One staff member at Hull Royal Infirmary said she’d been hit with 10 tickets in recent months – one of which ended up costing her £200 when she tried to appeal it.
Hull University Teaching Hospitals (HUTH) Trust employees have had payment for parking halted during the pandemic and it will be reinstated in July.
And staff said that many felt wardens were being especially heavy-handed to claw back revenue lost in this period.
A surgery nurse, said she’d been ticketed twice in three months, one of which was on a day she was visiting with her son as a patient.
“The first time I had one, I just ignored it,” said Lynsey Robinson, who has worked for the NHS for over 20 years. “But I came out to a second ticket recently and I was fuming – I was taking my son who’s 14 to an appointment and the barriers were up, so it was free for visitors.”
Lynsey added: “I’d have happily paid to park if I’d physically been able to. I tried to explain I was there with a patient and not for work, but they weren’t interested.
“It makes you feel really unappreciated and I think it’s really unacceptable to treat us like this. That £30 fine is about a third of someone’s weekly food shop – and we don’t get paid a huge amount for what we do as it is .”
Lynsey said she’ll be fighting her recent fine but had little hope her appeal would be successful.
Hull Daily Mail / MEN Media)
An employee who had received as many as 10 fines said others had also had tickets and it was damaging NHS staff morale in Hull.
“I must have had about 10 ends,” she said. “I find it sickening, to be honest.”
“I usually go to work 90 minutes early so I can get a spot [in the staff car park] to avoid a fine.”
She added: “I’ve got children at school, I’m a single mum working on Covid wards – why am I at work worrying about having to get back to my car?
“During Covid, they told us we wouldn’t have to pay for parking but now we’ve been told this will be starting again from July. I think they’re trying to claw back money lost – but it shouldn’t be coming from our pockets.”
HUTH NHS Trust told Hull Live that purposes were only issued to those parked illegally, hazardously or if they have not displayed a valid ticket.
The car park at Hull Royal Infirmary is currently managed by parking giant APCOA, although an employee who has also worked at Castle Hill said there had been a problem at both hospitals.
A hospital spokeswoman told HullLive: “In 2020 the Department of Health and Social Care determined that NHS staff should not pay for parking on NHS sites during the Covid pandemic. This year the Department reversed that decision and withdrew the funding to support free parking leading many Trusts to reintroduce charges from 1st April 2022.
“At HUTH we will be reintroducing car parking charges for staff from 1st July, 2022. This has not been an easy decision to take but we have to meet the costs of providing car parking through charges otherwise we will have to divert funding away from patient services.
“We know the rising cost of fuel, food, and energy are having an impact on our staff and due to this, we are exploring different payment methods including a daily fee, which gives car park users the option to leave the car at home when it is convenient to do so and not pay a fee.This approach also helps our Zero30 green agenda to reduce emissions around our sites by incentivizing staff to walk, run, cycle or use public transport in order to get to work.”
An APCOA spokesperson told HullLive: “APCOA is engaged by the Trust to manage its car park estate, which includes the enforcement of car park terms and conditions. If a customer or member of staff has been issued with a penalty charge notice (PCN) that they believe is unjustified, we ask them to follow the appeals process detailed on the PCN so their case can be reviewed.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.