Car Parking

Car Parking
04 August 2014

Many visitors attending the three hospitals run by Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will benefit from simpler and cheaper parking as part of a raft of changes brought in following an independent review of the car parking payment system introduced last year.

Geoff Neild, Head of Facilities said: “We are sorry for any distress, confusion and upset that patients and their relatives and carers have experienced since the new automatic number plate recognition system was introduced in late 2013.

“In recent months an independently-led review panel – which included patients, members of the public, staff and members of our complaints team who fielded calls and letters about the system – has taken a fresh, detailed look at the whole parking and payment process and we are now acting on what they found.

“The most common complaint received is that the machines do not tell you how much you owe after you input your car registration number.

“The complexity of our hospital car parks, which means we have cameras at multiple entrances and exits, made the cost of a bespoke system – as operated in supermarket sites with a single entrance and exit – prohibitive.

“So the solution that the independent review panel recommended was to drastically simplify the payment tariff system.”

From 4th August 2014 there will be only three pricing bands instead of the existing seven. 

The new price bands are:

  • Up to 20 minutes (Drop and Go - for those dropping off or collecting patients) – Free of charge
  • Up to two hours - £2
  • Two to six hours - £3
  • Six to 24 hours - £6.

Geoff said: “For the vast majority of outpatients and visitors the new prices mean that the cost of parking will be unchanged or cheaper. The only people who would pay more are the very small minority of patients who stay for between 20-30 minutes and for between six and seven hours. The review panel believed that it was much easier for visitors to know if they had been parked on site for less than two hours, up to six hours or more than six hours.”

Other changes are:

  • All signs inside and outside the hospitals are being changed based on feedback from patients, visitors and staff. The new signs will explain the parking process and payment methods more clearly and strongly recommend that visitors pay at the end of their hospital visit. There is still the flexibility for people to pay after leaving the site, by telephone or over the internet. This is helpful to people who have arrived in a hurry and without picking up their money – which patient feedback tells us does happen.
  • An additional change machine is to be installed at the main entrance at Queen’s Hospital, Burton, in addition to the one that is outside Queen’s Hospital’s Accident & Emergency Department.
  • Visitors told us they found the computer-style keyboards on the payment machines, where they type in their car registration number, confusing. We have trialled two new-style slimmer machines at the main entrance to Queen’s Hospital which have a simpler vertical keyboard of numbers and letters. Feedback from users has been encouraging so these machines will be phased In at the remaining payment stations – and at the community hospitals in Lichfield and Tamworth – over the coming months.
  • All external and internal signage has been reviewed and changed. The signage has been simplified so that patients and visitors have a better understand of the parking process and payment methods.

An appeals process is still in place for anyone who feels they have received a parking charge notice that is unjustified. They should submit an appeal via www.parkingeye.co.uk/appeal or call 0844 247 2982 so that the circumstances can be fully investigated.

 

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