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Fines for Grantham Hospital visitors branded 'scandalous'




People paying to park at Grantham Hospital have been hit with £70 fines following a blunder created by a new system introduced last month.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) introduced the system operated by ParkingEye in November. It uses automatic number plate recognition.

Motorists are asked to pay at machines before they leave by inputting their registration number.

But a number of people have been landed with parking fines after paying to park at the hospital.

Andrew Jackson received a fine after taking his 95-year-old dad for an appointment on December 4. He said: “The queue for the machine was so long that I had to leave my dad in his wheelchair to attend the appointment on his own. I was only just paying for my ticket when he had finished and was on his way out.

“I am very angry and can’t seem to get hold of anyone. I won’t be paying.”

Andrew was not the only person to receive a fine.

James Duckett was hit with a £70 fine following an appointment at the hospital, also on December 4.

The 83-year-old said: “I attended a specialist consultation on December 4 between the hours of 9.46am and 11.44am. There was absolute chaos trying to obtain a ticket and hospital staff were taken from their duties to help patients such as me, aged 83 and a blue badge holder, to understand the system.

“However, I did eventually manage to obtain a receipt for parking but after nine days I received a demand for £70 for alleged non-payment.

“The system is obviously flawed and unreliable. I think it is scandalous.”

Tom Simmonds, who used to own Simmonds Music in Westgate, also got in touch after receiving a parking charge notice .

He said: “They have issued a fine for unpaid parking on December 3 although I paid for parking on the day in question. This is unbelievable.

“When I left the hospital, there was an attendant at the machine who guided me through the payment process just to make sure I paid correctly.

“To receive a parking charge is outrageous. I am very concerned that this mistake can be made and it is very concerning if the same thing were to happen to an elderly person. They may feel obliged to pay the fine for fear of getting into further trouble.”

Mr Simmonds has appealed the decision.

Grantham Hospital. (6166395)
Grantham Hospital. (6166395)

Others who have also received a fine took to Facebook to vent their anger and express their concerns.

Annette Cook posted: “I am disabled and feel very vulnerable. This is so wrong. I got my ticket from reception and there was a gentleman working on the machine when I went to pay and I paid £1.90. I understand that I am not alone and that others have also received a fine.

“I don’t have the fight in me. I am very upset and stressed.”

Her fine was later withdrawn.

Chloe Taylor also took to Facebook to warn others.

She said: “My mum took my 86-year-old nan for an X-ray on December 3.

“My nan has a disability badge so the hospital gave them a ticket especially for disability badge holders. The machines wouldn’t take change so they paid with a 10 pound note for a £1.90 fee and received £8.10 change but still received a parking ticket from
ParkingEye.”

When the Journal contacted ParkingEye for a response, a spokesman said: “Anyone who believes they have mitigating circumstances are encouraged to appeal.”

ULHT facilities manager Ian Hayden added: “Any parking charge notices will have been issued by ParkingEye and we would advise anyone who feels they have been penalised unfairly to follow the appeals procedure as listed on the back of the notice so that it can be investigated further.”



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