NHS hospital staff lose parking tickets case


STOCK PHOTO  Parking tickets on a car in a railway station. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May, 22, 2015. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Thousands of pounds must now be paid by Cardiff hospital staff after a court ruled they were liable for parking fines that had built up since April 2016.

A judge at Cardiff Civil Justice Centre ordered that Indigo Park Services, the private parking firm responsible for looking after the University Hospital of Wales's car parks – comprising 1,250 spaces - could now collect fines which have not been paid by the 75 hospital staff who have outstanding penalty charge notices.

Campaigner Sue Prior told the BBC that staff had permits for certain areas where they could park for £1.05 a day. However, because these spaces were limited, staff had no option but to park in unauthorised visitor parking areas – where they would start to get fined.

A spokeswoman for Indigo told The Independent that the court ruling related to "three persistent offenders", who had managed to gather 100 parking fines since April 2016.

Staff nurse Felicity Richards told the BBC: "I have to allow 45 minutes to an hour extra to park my car every morning.

"By the time I get into work there are usually no parking spaces and I have to park off site and quite often I have to park a 20-to-25-minute walk away."

Yet, according to Cardiff and Vale University Health Trust, more than 98 per cent of staff did comply with parking regulations. It also told BBC South East Wales of its disappointment that many had "chosen to refuse to co-operate".

Len Richard, the board's chief executive, also told the BBC: "People have known what the potential outcome could be and I don't think there's anything we can do, as an organisation, to defend them from that."

By Ted Welford