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Hospital Parking fine

(23 Posts)
Iknowthisgirlcanx100 Wed 14-Sep-16 10:24:34

I feel really bad about having just received 4 hospital parking fines. Over a bank holiday weekend I took my husband to A and E (and collected him after treatment) 4 times. He has a serious, potentially life threatening condition which we knew needed intravenous medication. In all 4 journeys I never left the car. I sat in the carpark after dropping him and waited until he texted me to say that he had been seen by a doctor and would need to stay in all day. I then collected him later. On one of the occasions that I collected him I had to wait an hour longer than he initially said because the pharmacy was closed and they had to get the medication from elsewhere.
I stupidly did not realise that it was vehicle number plate recognition and because I stayed in the car and did not formally park, I would not be fined.
He was not in a fit state to use public transport. It was a bank holiday weekend. We are both pensioners and I thought I was doing the right thing.
Looking back if we had called an ambulance, rather than seeing a GP and being told to go to A and E for emergency treatment this would not have happened.
I will never enter the hospital grounds again to drop anyone off but I genuinely didn't realise.
Must I be fined 4 times or is there any thing I can do?

wowfudge Thu 15-Sep-16 07:32:37

Unless there were no signs explaining the parking system, I'm afraid there's not much you can do apart from write to the parking company and explain the situation. There is probably a grace period, but it won't be long because otherwise everyone would just say they didn't park up. Basically ask them to make a gesture of goodwill.

blueskyinmarch Thu 15-Sep-16 07:34:15

Write and explain the whole thing. They may be lenient towards you.

SoupDragon Thu 15-Sep-16 07:36:56

I agree - appeal explaining exactly what happened. They might waive it entirely or waive 3 of them as its the same mistake in the same timeframe.

NerrSnerr Thu 15-Sep-16 07:37:39

You can explain and ask them but you still used the car park whether you left the car or not.

NattyTile Thu 15-Sep-16 07:53:00

You parked. Doesn't matter if you left the vehicle or not, your car was stationary in a parking spot which was therefore being used.

I'm really sorry that you had to spend the weekend up and down there with your husband, and I hope he is more comfortable now. But you did park the car.

Does the hospital have dropping off zones? Ours has some 10 minute slots near the entrance where you can drop and run. Might be worth having a look.

Tiggeryoubastard Thu 15-Sep-16 13:14:40

You parked. You need to pay. I can't see why you would think you didn't.

MrsBungle Thu 15-Sep-16 13:22:17

I can't understand why you feel you didn't need to pay for the parking? You stayed in the car park for a considerable time and have to pay for that. I understand the problem. When my mum was dying of cancer I had many hospital trips and I received 3 parking fines from over-staying when appointments went on or unexpected admissions from appointments and I didn't want to leave her to top up the parking meter. I just had to pay the fines.

Arfarfanarf Thu 15-Sep-16 13:26:37

I am sorry your husband is ill. However, the car was parked. The fact that you were in it doesn't make a difference.

It was occupying a space in a car park that people have to pay to park in.

You needed to pay.

That said, write and explain the circumstances and perhaps they will waive or reduce the fines.

SirChenjin Thu 15-Sep-16 13:31:20

Did you use a parking space but didn't pay for it because you were sitting in the car? confused

If so, I'm afraid that's what tends to happen - but it's worth writing to them to see if they will offer any leniency.

StubbleTurnips Thu 15-Sep-16 13:36:16

Hospital car park teams I know, and worked with, take no prisoners. You were parked up, and can try and explain but don't be surprised if they pursue it anyway.

GoblinLittleOwl Thu 15-Sep-16 13:50:06

You occupied a parking space; why did you think you didn't have to pay?
There are usually reductions if you have to stay over a certain time, but as you did not accompany your husband into the hospital I cannot understand why you occupied the space for all that time, as he was able to contact you by text.

kittymamma Sun 18-Sep-16 02:49:46

I agree that I am surprised you thought you wouldn't have to pay. However, it also surprises me the attitude of the parking company at the hospital. Perhaps my hospital parking people are just nicer than most. I have been let off with paying for a whole hour one time after my parking ticket expired by 1 minute before I topped it up (was at the hospital alone, had driven myself) because the doctor was lecturing me for ages about not releasing me until my BP dropped to an acceptable level. I went down to the parking team and explained the situation and he said "don't worry about it now, just come and see us before you leave and we'll sort it then", when I went back he smiled and said "don't worry about it".

Contact them and explain the misunderstanding and assure them you will pay in future if you use the car park. Surely they have to be understanding in a hospital?

MoreGilmoreGirls Sun 18-Sep-16 03:01:40

You took up a parking space, you should have paid!

Blu Sun 18-Sep-16 04:08:18

There will be an appeal procedure outlined in the letter.
I would write in and explain.
There are some technicalities that might help, I think you can find them on sites like Moneysavingexpert. It is an invoice, not a fine, and I think it has to be proportionate. Were there free spaces still available, or was it full etc.

Do not include in your appeal your comments about ambulance v parking.

cexuwaleozbu Sun 18-Sep-16 04:29:58

If you were in a parking space you should have paid. It would have been fine to drop off dh and then drive off the hospital grounds and hang out on-street somewhere nearby until he was ready to pick up.

I know hospital parking is expensive and seems harsh but unless a hospital can provide more parking spaces than it has beds (which I imagine would be tricky for most) they have to have a system to disincentivise people from using spaces unless they have to.

Speaking from having had the experience of driving around a hospital car park for nearly an hour before I could find a space, in tears because that could have been the last hour of life of someone very dear to me (happily it wasn't) I think it would be very unfair to occupy a parking space without paying.

AndNowItsSeven Sun 18-Sep-16 06:16:21

Why didn't you go with your dh as he was really unwell, why sit in the car?

missyB1 Sun 18-Sep-16 06:41:30

Write or email them explaining the exact circumstances and why you thought you didn't need to pay. It will be a private firm and there are ways to deal with these companies, google it. I worked in hospitals for years (and my husband still does) we've had a few fines on the car park - never paid any. But we always acknowledged them and argued our case.

prh47bridge Sun 18-Sep-16 08:46:14

It is an invoice, not a fine, and I think it has to be proportionate

Technically it is an invoice, not a fine. However, the amount charged does not have to relate to the parking operator's losses. In Beavis v ParkingEye the Supreme Court upheld a charge of £85 for overstaying in a free car park. So, although ParkingEye had not suffered any loss, they were able to charge a motorist £85 for overstaying. I therefore think that questions such as whether or not there were free spaces are irrelevant.

It will be a private firm and there are ways to deal with these companies

It is much harder to avoid these charges since the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. This significantly strengthened the ability of parking operators to their charges.

Lemonlady22 Tue 20-Sep-16 16:43:56

you didnt technically just drop your husband off though ...you sat in the car in the car park...i cant understand if he was that ill why you waited in the car...and came back later when you found that he was going to be longer....and the reasoning that if you had known you would have to pay that you would have called an ambulance!....just ridiculous!

BombadierFritz Tue 20-Sep-16 16:50:35

maybe they will let you off if it was all on the same day, but was it actually over four days that you did this? why on earth not just get a parking ticket and go in with him? anyway, its worth a begging grovelling letter

MidniteScribbler Wed 21-Sep-16 06:16:54

Good grief, of course you were parked. Just because you stayed in the car, doesn't mean you weren't parked there. You were using a space. Do you really believe that staying in a car means you don't have to pay?

And as for the comments about using an ambulance instead if you thought you would have to pay, well words fail me.

LurkingHusband Wed 21-Sep-16 10:27:43

Technically it is an invoice, not a fine. However, the amount charged does not have to relate to the parking operator's losses.

It still has to be reasonable though ....

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