Controversial hospital parking scheme expands to other Sunderland health sites

The Parking Eye System which was installed in November at Sunderland Royal Hospital is being rolled out this week at the Niall Quinn Children Centre
The Parking Eye System which was installed in November at Sunderland Royal Hospital is being rolled out this week at the Niall Quinn Children Centre
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A PARKING system which angered motorists visiting Sunderland Royal Hospital is being rolled out at other health sites in the city.

From today, ParkingEye will cover the Eye Infirmary car park in Queen Alexandra Road, and the Niall Quinn Children’s Centre, in Durham Road.

The Echo received scores of calls and emails when the technology was first introduced at the Royal in November, after people found themselves lumped with fines after using the car park.

Many argued that hospital bosses did not explain the new system before its introduction.

It involves automated number plate recognition technology, which captures the plates of all vehicles entering and exiting the car parks.

Photographic evidence is coupled with payments made to show an accurate picture of how someone has used the car park.

Drivers have to buy a pay-and-display ticket and make it clearly visible on their vehicle dashboard.

When buying a ticket the full and correct vehicle registration number must be entered into the pay-and-display machine.

People using the car parks are beng warned however, that although the system is the same tickets will not be transferable across the sites.

Blue badge holders will be continue to be allowed to park for free.

City parking campaigner Neil Heron said he hoped lessons had been learned from the installation at the Royal.

“As long as it is made obvious that you have to pay and display, and that blue badge holders are given their concession, then they are regulating the car park properly,” he said.

A spokesman for ParkingEye said: “Our solution has been designed to provide the (hospital) trust with an effective car park management system that will eradicate any misuse of what is a limited resource.

“We hope this system will create a positive environment as well as raise revenues for the trust.

“There were of course teething problems which we hope we have ironed out in the system to be introduced at Sunderland Eye Infirmary.

“The objective remains the same – to provide a fair and equitable system of parking on limited sites for patients, visitors and staff, that prevents drivers parking illegally and reduces the stress of parking to a minimum.”

A spokesman for City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our parking rates remain among the most competitive in the city.

“All income received from parking is reinvested in the maintenance of safe and secure parking, as well as contributing towards other essential patient services and facilities.”

Blue badge holders can register online at www.chsft.nhs.uk, call City Hospitals Sunderland Security Team on 569 9185 or use one of the registration phone lines, which are at the main entrances of the hospitals.

Twitter: @davidallison88