A new parking system at Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley Hospital has left patients and visitors confused.Advertisement
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust introduced the number-plate recognition system on Friday (21 December).
Enforced and controlled by Parking Eye the system means you no longer need to pay-and-display.
However, drivers say they are being hit with potential penalty notices because of the failure of the system.
The new payment machines have been out of action and drivers say the online payment method is requiring them to be pre-registered before they park.
A 50-year-old woman, from Fulwood, who took her husband in for an emergency MRI scan at Chorley Hospital explained her situation.
She said: “We had not been to Chorley Hospital before and they had availability for the scan so we went there on Sunday.
“As we walked in we realised as we drove in the barriers were up and we hadn’t taken a ticket for the parking.
“I then spotted the pay machine in our car park was out of order. There was no sign to explain why.
“After researching online about the problems with the new ANPR system at Preston and Chorley I checked the hospital website.
“It gave me a link to pay for parking up to midnight on the day after the visit.
“So I registered for the service but was unable to pay as the advice on the website is incorrect and you have to be registered before you visit.
“I was there for 45 minutes and I’m now facing a potential fine.”
Read more: See the latest news about Royal Preston Hospital
Chorley MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle has called on the Trust to make parking free at the hospitals over the Christmas period while the system is reviewed.
Informed of parking chaos at Chorley Hospital, broken machines and confusion over charges. Why not give patients and visitors an early Christmas present and make it free pic.twitter.com/rTRFSR6dFm
— Lindsay Hoyle (@LindsayHoyle_MP) December 21, 2018
The Trust has told the Lancashire Post parking on Christmas Day and Boxing Day will be free.
A statement from the NHS Trust said: “There were some initial minor teething problems on the day of installation on the 21st. Chorley was sorted and fixed by mid-afternoon on Saturday, Preston did face some issues Sunday and Monday morning, however there were engineers on site to resolve these.
“In regards to people receiving fines, this is categorically untrue. No charges have been issued. Nevertheless, even if a penalty charge was issued on the 21st it would have been impossible for anybody to have received a PCN by the Monday when you contacted us.
“Added to this, for the first two weeks from installation, nobody will receive penalty charges – instead warning letters will be provided for the first two weeks. However, immunities were in place while the machines were being attended to so there won’t even be warning letters issued for that period.”
Up to 30 minutes is free
Up to 1 hour is £2.50
Up to 2 hours is £3.50
Up to 4 hours is £5.50
Up to 6 hours is £6
Up to 8 hours is £8
More than 8 hours is £10
The Trust website says you should be able to enter your registration number into the machines upon leaving the hospital and pay by cash, credit or debit card for the time you’ve been there.
You can also pay online by up to midnight on the day after your visit through the ParkGood2Go system. But you need to have registered before your visit to use this service or have an account with it from another car park.
The parking fines are £70 but drop to £42 if paid within 14 days.
You can appeal the fine by contacting Parking Eye on their appeals page.
Read more: New multi-storey car park for RPH is on hold
Have you parked at the hospital since Friday? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below