Visitors to hospitals around the country were stung with approximately £13.3 million in parking fines during the 2015/16 financial year, it has been revealed.
YourParkingSpace.co.uk made the revelation following a Freedom of Information request, and also discovered that 10 per ent of the 159,000 tickets issued were appealed against, two-thirds of which were done so successfully.
The chances of successfully appealing against a parking ticket varied from region to region, with some areas seeing a success rate of 100 per cent, while others were less than 10 per cent.
Some trusts were also more heavy-handed than others when it came to issuing Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), with some trusts handing out more than 12,000 in 2016, while others issued none.
Barts Heath NHS Trust issued the highest number of PCNs during the 2015/16 period, standing at 12,789. University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Foundation Trust closely followed with 12,556.
Some trusts were more forgiving than others when it came to overturning PCNs as well. Those that overturned all the PCN appeals they received included The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, University of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust and Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust.
Managing director of YourParkingSpace.co.uk Harrison Woods said: “It isn’t right that visitors who are often attending hospital for treatmentor to visit sick relatives are being hit with fines of up to £100.
“It’s added worry at a time that is often already very stressful for patients and their families. The research, however, shows that if you feel that you have been unfairly ticketed while parking at a hospital, it can pay to appeal.”
Woods believes technology that enables motorists to book parking in advance could provide the NHS trusts with an ideal solution.
He said: “Some hospital trusts are dealing with tens of thousands of PCN appeals a year, most of which are overturned.
“It’s generating huge amounts of unnecessary and costly administration for hospitals, which could be avoided by embracing the changing customer behaviour of booking online.
“Many patients and visitors already know in advance when they will be visiting the hospital, and booking their parking online could make the trip much less stressful and help them avoid parking illegally.
“Meanwhile, for hospitals that deal with PCN appeals internally, it’s a reduction in the administrative headache that comes with this, so it really is a win-win.”
See full story in the Chester Leader