Finance News

NHS staff fined for parking at their own health center

NHS staff are charged a parking fee of £70 (PCNs) for parking at a medical center during their shifts. The trouble started months ago when a newly built Aldi hired an enforcement firm, Parkingeye, to manage the parking lot next to Purbeck’s health center in Milton Keynes. The Automatic License Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera at the entrance to Aldi has been set up with an unnecessarily long range to photograph vehicles entering the adjacent NHS site. The Aldi store manager and Parkingeye have been made aware of this and will ensure that the tickets will be canceled if disputed, but not everyone will know how to appeal and some employees have been given multiple PCNs. Aldi blames Parkingeye and Parkingeye customer service cannot arrange the repositioning of the camera.
The Aldi opened in December, so Parkingeye has had five months to sort out its cameras. Initially, Aldi told me that the health center staff, which includes a dentist, two specialist clinics and a general practitioner, should register their vehicle registration number in the Aldi store to prevent future PCNs. When I pointed out that it was unreasonable for motorists to register with an unaffiliated third party for permission to park in their own parking lot, it confirmed that the ANPR camera had now been modified to allow only vehicles entering the Aldi premises, would be fixed. Parkingeye has been contacted for a response.
Earlier this month I reported on an enforcement firm that was chasing food bank users and volunteers for charges of up to £170 when they parked in the food bank’s own car park. Management companies prevent abuse of private parking spaces, but extortionate prices and heavy-handed tactics have led to government crackdowns. In February, plans were announced to cap most parking fees to £50 and to require reasonable grace periods before PCNs were issued. While the city’s parking fees are similar to city taxes, they’re bills, not fines. Motorists who believe they have received one in error should file a complaint before paying the law enforcement agency or landowner. Failing that, they can take their case to the Independent Appeals Service, or POPLA, depending on the dispute resolution scheme the company subscribes to