Parking Eye move into Barnet Hospital's car park

Derek Dishman, aka Mr Mustard

Derek Dishman, aka Mr Mustard

First published in News
Last updated
Times Series: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

Plans to dish out hefty fines to hospital visitors who fail to pay for parking have been branded a “complete disaster”.

Barnet Hospital, in Wellhouse Lane, High Barnet, has employed Parking Eye to ensure drivers pay the required charges to park in the car park.

The firm has previously attracted a lot of criticism for apparently using “confusing" signs and complicated systems that leave many puzzled by the rules.

According to the Royal Free NHS Trust, which manages the hospital, people will be given the option to pay in advance or until midnight on the day they leave the hospital.

However, parking expert Derek Dishman, who blogs under the name Mr Mustard, is “doubtful” about how the system will work.

He said: “This is most interesting but we’ll have to see how it works because they have to make a profit somewhere. I’ll be reserving judgment on this one to see how it pans out.

“I don’t understand why you don’t just have to pay as you leave because then there’s no doubt. If there’s a barrier, the compliance rate is 100 per cent.”

Mr Dishman said he disagrees with removing the “human element” of paying the cost of parking directly to an employee inside the car park itself.

He added: “People would feel safer that way. I agree there have to be some controls, but I believe this is the wrong one.”

“I fear this isn’t going to fix anything and just add to the problem.”

Money raised from fines will go to the Royal Free Hospital Trust.

Parking Eye uses the automatic number plate recognition system (ANPR) to photograph people entering and exiting the hospital to monitor those who have failed to pay.

The first four hours cost £1 per hour, with prices going up to £7 for six hours and £10 for 24 hours.

Charges will stay the same when the new system is introduced on September 1.

Parking expert Alex Shipp, who is also known as the Parking Prankster, said: “This is bad news. Parking Eye only makes money from penalties so there’s no intent for it to be done fairly.

“You need some kind of regime. It’s a disaster. You shouldn’t find people massive amounts at a place where only the vulnerable are going.

“They use confusing signs and complicated systems to generate as much revenue as possible. It causes much distress to vulnerable members of society – those who need to go to hospital.”

Emergency visits allow 20 minutes free of charge in designated areas to drop off and pick up patients, and weekly permits are available to cut costs.

Those who visit the hospital every day for more than a month are eligible to apply for a free pass.

Parking Eye has also pledged to install 250 large, clear signs across the car park, each at least twice the minimum size recommended.

People will also be able to use a range of payment facilities including card, cash or pay-by-phone.

A statement from the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Parking Eye ANPR solution provides a fair and managed system supported by regular patrols to ensure that a safe and managed car park environment is maintained for all users. There are automated and manual checks to ensure that the cameras are accurate.

“The Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system is appropriate for a hospital environment as it ensures that patients can pay for the parking that they use and not have to anticipate how much time they will require.”

Comments (11)

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2:57pm Wed 20 Aug 14

ParkingTicketAppeals says...

We are the only company in the UK who can beat Parking Eye and pay up if we lose!. We have done over 1000 Parking eye PCN's now !. We have never lost against PE , in fact we have never lost against any parking company.

So if you want an expert to sort out your parking pest for you google parking ticket appeals ltd today!
We are the only company in the UK who can beat Parking Eye and pay up if we lose!. We have done over 1000 Parking eye PCN's now !. We have never lost against PE , in fact we have never lost against any parking company. So if you want an expert to sort out your parking pest for you google parking ticket appeals ltd today! ParkingTicketAppeals
  • Score: -1

5:51pm Wed 20 Aug 14

NoToMob Member says...

Parking Prankster is the best way to beat Parking Eye.
Parking Prankster is the best way to beat Parking Eye. NoToMob Member
  • Score: 2

7:05am Thu 21 Aug 14

DannyMan says...

"Fair and managed"? ParkingEye? What kind of parallel universe have I wandered into? There is no place in a hospital for a predator like ParkingEye.
"Fair and managed"? ParkingEye? What kind of parallel universe have I wandered into? There is no place in a hospital for a predator like ParkingEye. DannyMan
  • Score: 5

7:12am Thu 21 Aug 14

ParkingTicketAppeals says...

Quite, Parking eye are complete and utter predators.

Mr Prankster has them by the short and curlys
Quite, Parking eye are complete and utter predators. Mr Prankster has them by the short and curlys ParkingTicketAppeals
  • Score: 1

10:18am Thu 21 Aug 14

DannyMan says...

Incidentally, I hope the Trust's contract with ParkingEye has an escape clause should ParkingEye lose the Court of Appeal case in February. Losing this case would blow ParkingEye's tawdry business apart, but they are not known for walking away from terminated contracts without taking a great deal of compensation with them.
Incidentally, I hope the Trust's contract with ParkingEye has an escape clause should ParkingEye lose the Court of Appeal case in February. Losing this case would blow ParkingEye's tawdry business apart, but they are not known for walking away from terminated contracts without taking a great deal of compensation with them. DannyMan
  • Score: 4

5:02pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Mr Reasonable says...

This is only going to end badly with distressed patients being heavily fined. Having been at the hospital for an appointment only to find that the clinics are running hours behind what am I supposed to do, leave the clinic and potentially lose my appointment or risk getting a huge fine. Companies like ParkingEye lack that key ingredient, discretion, which an on site person can exercise. This move also tells me exactly what I thought would happen when with Barnet General being taken over by The Royal Free Trust - its all about the money. Expect many more money grabbing schemes from remote bureaucrats who have no direct link with our local community.
This is only going to end badly with distressed patients being heavily fined. Having been at the hospital for an appointment only to find that the clinics are running hours behind what am I supposed to do, leave the clinic and potentially lose my appointment or risk getting a huge fine. Companies like ParkingEye lack that key ingredient, discretion, which an on site person can exercise. This move also tells me exactly what I thought would happen when with Barnet General being taken over by The Royal Free Trust - its all about the money. Expect many more money grabbing schemes from remote bureaucrats who have no direct link with our local community. Mr Reasonable
  • Score: 8

10:38am Fri 22 Aug 14

Adele Winston says...

There is nothing fair or appropriate about charging the sick for parking, especially as the walk up to the bus stop is too steep for many to manage.
There is nothing fair or appropriate about charging the sick for parking, especially as the walk up to the bus stop is too steep for many to manage. Adele Winston
  • Score: 5

3:38pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Gav2014 says...

1
1 Gav2014
  • Score: 0

3:42pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Gav2014 says...

For anyone in doubt about this scheme simply search the internet.

An NHS Trust in the north East has removed this scheme from their sites due to ongoing issues and as a result of the magnitude of complaints.

The Queens Hospital in Burton on Trent has had the scheme in for possibly 10 months, Throughout this period the scheme has attracted a significant amount of user complaints, adverse PR including several case studies in National Press. The Trust blindly retain the scheme to the detriment of all patients and visitors using the site.

A disaster for these hospitals.....
For anyone in doubt about this scheme simply search the internet. An NHS Trust in the north East has removed this scheme from their sites due to ongoing issues and as a result of the magnitude of complaints. The Queens Hospital in Burton on Trent has had the scheme in for possibly 10 months, Throughout this period the scheme has attracted a significant amount of user complaints, adverse PR including several case studies in National Press. The Trust blindly retain the scheme to the detriment of all patients and visitors using the site. A disaster for these hospitals..... Gav2014
  • Score: 4

5:15pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Mr. Datchery says...

I have regular tests at Finchley Memorial Hospital where all you have to do is enter the last three digits of your car number and print out a ticket which you display in your car, you then get three hours FREE parking. If it works there why not elsewhere.
There is some delay however if you are stuck behind a first-timer who is vainly looking for somewhere to insert a coin.
I have regular tests at Finchley Memorial Hospital where all you have to do is enter the last three digits of your car number and print out a ticket which you display in your car, you then get three hours FREE parking. If it works there why not elsewhere. There is some delay however if you are stuck behind a first-timer who is vainly looking for somewhere to insert a coin. Mr. Datchery
  • Score: 5

8:15am Sat 23 Aug 14

Mr Reasonable says...

In light of Jeremy Hunt's instructions on hospital parking charges today, I think think the only course of action now is to cancel the contract with Parking Eye and admit what fools they have been.
In light of Jeremy Hunt's instructions on hospital parking charges today, I think think the only course of action now is to cancel the contract with Parking Eye and admit what fools they have been. Mr Reasonable
  • Score: 5

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