City Hospitals Sunderland introduced a new car parking control system in November 2011 at the Sunderland Royal Site, with the aim of offering improved vehicle access for patients and their visitors. These controls were designed to reduce the high levels of inappropriate parking, with blue badge holder bays regularly used by drivers without the necessary blue badge validation.
Many more of our spaces were occupied throughout the day by drivers, not actually using any of the hospital services. Many other parking related incidents also occurred, and with over 1,500 parking spaces to control across three hospital sites, it is an impossible task to manage manually, without committing significant NHS resource.
Following on from the launch at Sunderland Royal Hospital, the ParkingEye system will be in operation at the Eye Infirmary on Queen Alexander Road and the Children’s Centre on Durham Road from Wednesday 6th June 2012. As part of our implementation plans we are using the lessons learned from our experiences at Sunderland Royal Hospital and the comments received from all who use the service, to ensure car parking is accessible, safe and secure.
Blue badge holders can continue to park for free and over 15,000 blue badge holders are now registered. To make use of this free service, a one off registration of blue badge and vehicle registration details is necessary. If more than one vehicle is used to visit, please register all vehicles. For those who have already registered there is no need to register again, as the registration details for their vehicle is applicable for all three sites.
For those who need to register there are a number of ways to do this:
- Register online
- Telephone City Hospitals Sunderland Security Team 0191 5699185
- Using one of the dedicated registration phone lines, which are situated at the main entrances to the hospitals.
As an additional support, throughout next week a temporary “manned attendant” will work across both sites to offer blue badge holders further assistance in the registration process.
The ParkingEye system involves an advanced automated number plate recognition (ANPR) technology, which will capture the number plates of all vehicles entering and exiting the car parks at the Children’s Centre and the Eye Infirmary. Photographic evidence is then coupled with the payments made resulting in an accurate picture of car park usage. Users simply have to purchase a pay and display ticket and make it clearly visible on their vehicle dashboard. When purchasing a ticket the full and correct vehicle registration number must be entered in to the Pay and Display machine.
Parking charges are generated and issued to those motorists parked inappropriately or who are in breach of terms and conditions, such as non-payment. For those who park and realise they don’t have change for the pay and display machines, the new system means they can top up their tariffs on exit, or use a credit or debit card via a simple mobile phone transaction when they return home.
A Trust spokesman said: “All users of our Trust car parks now benefit from the Parking Eye scheme. Like at Sunderland Royal, blue badge holders can park free, once they have registered on the system.”
A spokesperson for ParkingEye, commented: “We are delighted to be now working across more of the Trust’s sites. Our solution has been designed to provide the 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 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 and children’s Centre,’ concluded a trust spokesman. “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.
“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.”