​Parking cowboys target cancer wards


Parking fine

Parking wardens working on hospital sites have allegedly been instructed to focus their time on cancer ward car parks, a whistleblower has stated. Wardens have been told to prioritise car parks used by those being treated for cancer, as patients are likely to be distracted – and consequently more likely to be late returning to their cars.

Whistleblower Tony Taylor, who used to work for UK Parking Control Ltd (UKPC), says he was told to "give tickets regardless of any illness", reports the Daily Mail. Taylor, 53, claims that he was instructed by bosses that wardens should focus on cancer wards at hospitals to exploit those undergoing chemotherapy. He added that staff were offered huge bonuses to "give the sites a good banging".

Mr Taylor, who spent two years as a team leader for UKPC, said: "When I had to visit the hospital sites, I was told to instruct the wardens to concentrate on the area outside the cancer departments, because cars would overstay their time more than any other part of the hospital due to them or their passenger receiving chemotherapy."

He resigned from his post in December and said that UKPC: "Do not care one hoot about anyone's feelings or health". UKPC has since denied his allegations. The company manages car parks at NHS hospitals, shopping centres and High Street shops.

Following draconian methods by parking enforcement companies, MPs and campaigners have called for action against rogue parking companies, including those that target particularly vulnerable people at hospitals. These parking firms may issue "Parking Charge Notices" which resemble official "Penalty Charge Notices" issued by councils and may be followed with letters threatening legal action.

Professor Stephen Glaister, from the RAC Foundation, told the Daily Mail: "What a lot of rogue operators will do is simply play the percentage game. They will simply slap loads of tickets on cars in the expectation that many people will simply pay up. An industry estimate is that about 40 per cent of people pay up without bothering to check the legitimacy of the ticket."