News that a parking firm is seeking retrospective permission for a system which is already in operation at hospital sites in Sunderland has got readers talking.
ParkingEye has submitted a retrospective application for the parking meters and kit in use at Sunderland Children’s Hospital in Durham Road.
Another application has been put in to retain the system at Sunderland Eye Infirmary in Queen Alexandra Road, with a third expected to be sent to cover the one in place at Sunderland Royal in Chester Road.
City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation trust which runs the sites say it and the firm was “not made aware” at the time of installation that planning permission was needed.
The eye hospital’s site offers patients access to 260 parking bays, six of them disabled.
The application for the Children’s Centre also says the same, with its car park offering 68 spaces and another two for those with disabled badges.
People had their say on the issue on the Echo’s website.
Macky53 wrote: “At the end of the day why should anyone have to pay to park at a hospital? You are not there for a day out and having to fork out for parking costs is wrong.”
Honest John said: “I know someone who was fined for not paying to park in the Eye Infirmary car park when the machines were out of order.
“Given that the equipment was illegal i.e. without planning consent can they claim that fine back?”
Billydane said: “Does anyone know how much parking eye charge the hospital for their services and how much the hospital makes from parking charges?”
On the Echo’s Facebook page, Phil Sanderson wrote: “Shouldn’t have to pay for parking in a hospital anyway, NHS cuts and not enough staff yet £3 for two hours parking and over 1,700 spaces means during visiting times alone “if full” is £10,200 a day, £316,200 a month, £3,794,400 a year that’s not including people who have appointment outside of visiting times.
“Quite scary them figures considering there are cuts in within the NHS.”
Gary McKenzie wrote: “The system is farcical. A telephone system that doesn’t work properly a pay on exit system that doesn’t work properly and fined when you have paid on exit but not paid enough because the system doesn’t work properly and to top it off the system is installed without planning permission.”
Cal Thompson wrote: “How can they get away with the extortionate parking fees, taking advantage of people who need to be at hospital, council should impose a capped parking price to privately owned car parks.”
And Rebecca Parker wrote: “I don’t mind paying for parking, but £2 for a one hour stay is ridiculous.”