‘Selfish’ misuse of free hospital car park angers patients

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Some patients at Lincoln County Hospital are frustrated, claiming people are using the temporarily free car park as a ‘Park & Ride’ for a day out in the city.

As previously reported, parking for patients and visitors at the hospital is currently free after a technical glitch with the new ParkingEye system installed in November.

However, ULHT said machines are expected to be fixed by the end of the month.

“Makes my blood boil”

People have reported that the car park has been overflowing since payment systems were halted. Some confronted those parking and leaving the site to be told they were using it as a ‘park and ride’.

Tracy Phillips was affected by the parking fiasco when she went to the hospital recently with her son, who has a valid blue parking badge.

She told The Lincolnite: “While waiting at the disabled parking bays near the entrance for a space to become available.

“I saw a couple walking to the disabled car park with High Street store shopping bags, the lady had a walking stick.

“As they started to put the shopping in their car and prepared to drive away I asked them if they had left their car there, using up a disabled space and taken a bus into town?

“At first they wouldn’t reply, but when I asked again they laughingly answered, to my incredulity, that while it was free parking at the hospital they used it as a ‘park and ride’ into town and, as they had a blue badge, were perfectly entitled to park there.

“There aren’t nearly enough blue badge spaces at the hospital as it is and selfish behaviour like this makes my blood boil.”

Don’t park for a day out

Cancer patient Marie Butler told The Lincolnite: “I have secondary breast cancer stage four in my liver, so I am up at county a lot. Parking at the moment is a nightmare as, as you know it is free.

“I had an appointment at the breast unit on Wednesday and just could not get parked. I then tried the main car parks, including physio, but there were still no spaces so I had to park on Curle Avenue for an hour.

“The thought that people are parking there for any reason other than genuine appointments is disgusting.

“Obviously we are not the only people struggling to get parked for very important appointments. The thought that others are using LCH car park as a freebie for leisure purposes, or anything other than what it should be used for is truly thoughtless.”

The new system has been the cause of much anger. Photo: Connor Creaghan for The Lincolnite

There is free parking at Lincoln County Hospital until January due to technical issues with the new system. Photo: Avril Page

Parking issues

ParkingEye took over the parking facilities in late November at Lincoln, Grantham and Boston hospitals, but faced issues with ANPR cameras and the payment machines.

People were confused about the system which required them to remember their full registration numbers, with queues forming as machines failed at all three sites in early December.

Initially parking charges were meant to return at Lincoln on January 7, but this was delayed further.

Parking charges have since returned to Boston and Grantham, but work is still being done to improve the signal between the ANPR cameras and paying machines at Lincoln.

Reporters contacted ULHT for a response and the trust said it was still aiming to have this issue resolved by the end of January.

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