26 October 2014

Barnet Hospital - parking tickets

the top sign is far too high to read
The Barnet Hospital parking problem for the disabled.

As Mr Mustard correctly predicted in the local Times newspaper back in August when it started, parking, for many visitors to the hospital isn't working out well which makes it a triumph for Parking Eye (Capita) as the profits will be rolling in, and it is the disabled who seem to be bearing the brunt of the problem.

Many regular disabled visitors didn't notice the new signs and why would they look for them as all they have to do on the street is to put their blue badges out. Technically blue badges have absolutely no legal standing on private land as the legislation that enacted them only considered the public road. What has happened is that lots of disabled people have put their blue badge on display, gone to their appointment and then a few days later received a "parking charge notice" through the post from Parking Eye which demands £100 within 28 days of the issue of the demand or the lesser sum of £60 if paid within 14 days of the date of the demand. For council tickets you always get 14 or 28 days from the date of arrival of the demand so Parking Eye are applying time pressure to people who are probably sick and thus behind with personal paperwork as they have other more important things to think about.

The other logistical point which springs to Mr Mustard's mind is that councils are not allowed to use cctv where a blue badge would be valid as the camera can't see it (the vast majority of cctv enforcement will soon be stopped on the public highway). The Rt Hon Eric Pickles who very sensibly acted to stop big brother ticketing needs to have a chat with his ministerial colleagues in the Department of Health and force hospitals to revert to a local system of blue badge checking on the ground so that the disabled don't have to traipse off to reception to register their blue badge. The disabled are being forced to register their cars when all the able bodied have to do is to pay at a meter near to their car so the disabled are being discriminated against when they should be treated better (due adjustments should be made for their condition).

What to do if you get a parking charge notice?

1.  Complain locally. Update 4 Feb 15. Reception have the power to cancel the parking charge notice.

Go to reception and ask them to cancel the ticket although Mr Mustard thinks they will say they can't as only Parking Eye can do so which, if correct, is wrong as it is the hospital's car park and they should retain the right to insist upon cancellation; a blue badge holder whose chemotherapy ran late really shouldn't have to explain their medical details to a representative of a parking company; this is distressing, confidential and personal information.

Take your blue badge with you to prove you have one although it isn't strictly necessary as if you are obviously disabled but don't have a blue badge the necessary adjustment should still be made due to your disability.

You could ask PALS (Patient Advice & Liaison Service) to get involved (bcfpals@nhs.net) although they too can probably only support you in the process. The hospital have erred. They should train PALS and reception to cancel these parking penalties in suitable circumstances.

You could tweet about it to #RoyalFreeNHS as like all large organisations they are image conscious and will fall over themselves to help in order to present a friendly public face.

If the hospital and/or Parking Eye don't deal with you sympathetically think about appearing in the Barnet Times paper as it may help other people. (Chief Reporter Anna Slater)

2.  Challenge the penalty. 

The main stumbling block for private parking companies is the fact that they have to show what their "Genuine pre-Estimate of Loss" is. In this case as you don't have to pay as you have a blue badge, once you disclose the existence of a blue badge there is no possibility of a loss. If you like to deal with these things yourselves, all well and good. You can get help by:

a. googling about Parking Eye (you will get thousands of results)
b. looking at the Parking Prankster site
c. looking at the Parking Cowboys website
d. using the Pepipoo forum (odd name but a great source of knowledge)

which will soon have you armed with strong arguments.

3. Pay for expert help

If Mr Mustard gets a request for assistance with a private parking ticket he sends the person to this website 

There are modest £5 and £10 fees to pay and the people offering this service really do know what they are doing (they know far more than Mr Mustard about private tickets)

If you can't deal with stress then this commercial and efficient service is the answer. It is what Mr Mustard would do if he got a parking charge notice at a hospital (or a motorway services several of which he stopped in for 30 minutes or so this week).

4. Do not ignore the problem; it will not go away.

On no account ignore the parking charge notice (those days are gone). Fight the penalty at every stage and keep to timetable.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard


  1. These so called private car parks are just a joke, remember this, did you actually park your vehicle.... MAKE them PROVE that you DID. all the anpr camera's clock are the times you drove in and out, therefore you may have never even actually parked your vehicle, you could of stayed in your vehicle the whole time and waited for a relative/friend to go in and have there appointment. Proof that you drove in and drove out later does not mean you parked.

    Definition of parking: bring (a vehicle that one is driving) to a halt and LEAVE IT temporarily, typically in a car park or by the side of the road.

  2. Has ParkingEye at Barnet Hospital got planning permission for their car park signs? the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements)(England) Regulation 2007, which cites that it is a criminal offence to display an advertisement without the appropriate advertisement consent.

    Last year they fell foul of Flintshire council, and two members of parliament got quite a bit of the money back for the people who had been demanded money on the back of 'criminal activity'!!

  3. just to update, the fee for Private Parking Ticket Appeals Service is £18 including VAT, and not £5-£10. your blog is informative. thankyou. I have been giving a parking ticket at Barnet Hospital fracture Unit, when I had paid for my ticket. It was sent in a post after a week. in between i had cleaned my car and car park ticket was thrown away, as there was no reason to keep it. My PPN ticket showed that i had overstayed for 6 mins, as the entry and exit of ny car time said so. but when my car entered, i had to wait in ambulance bay, while this man in cast on his leg was moving his car. it took some time. then i parked my car, went to the machine and bought the ticket, displayed the ticket and went in with my daughter with broken collarbone. all this took time. unfortunately i do not have my ticket that i had bought as a proof to fight back. this is such a con. i had never been to barnet hospital before. its appalling that a place like hospitals allow these private companies to enjoy on the costs of its patients.

  4. I've got a CCJ without knowing anything about it for
    Driving in and out of barnet hospital just to pick up somebody

  5. If you have not been served with anything for some reason then you need to make an application to set aside the judgment.


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