Pensioner fined after seven-minute stop at Portsmouth hospital

Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, Portsmouth
Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, Portsmouth
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PENSIONER Thomas Fellows got more than he bargained for after he stopped briefly outside Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham to return a heart monitor.

The 64-year-old from Leigh Park received a nasty surprise when he got back to his car after spending a total of seven minutes inside – a £100 fine.

Now Mr Fellows wants to warn others of the dangers of parking without a ticket on the hospital campus – even if it’s just for a few minutes.

He said: ‘I think people should be aware of the extortionate amount they face if they fail to get a ticket.

‘It should be made known to everyone who uses the hospital that it’s going to cost them.’

Mr Fellows said he planned to only visit the hospital briefly, and had been told he could get away without a ticket for a short time.

He said: ‘I needed a heart monitor for a condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which basically means an enlarged heart.

‘When I had to return it, I asked at reception about a concession parking time and they said you got 10 minutes.

‘So I parked the car, returned the heart monitor and when I got back to the car there was a ticket. The ticket said I had parked there for seven minutes without a ticket. It asked me to pay £100. It’s an extraordinary amount.’

Mr Fellows said he had parked in the parking space opposite the main entrance by the fence.Mr Fellows contacted The News after reading about community volunteer Ann Waters, who also got a £100 at QA, even though she had a valid ticket displayed in her window.

Ms Walters drove 67-year-old cancer patient Gillian Patterson to the hospital and bought a ticket, but when she nipped back to her mini-van to buy additional parking time, she found a fine waiting on her windscreen.

Mr Fellows said he got his fine in August last year, and paid up to avoid court action.

The car park is managed by private firm Carillion, as part of its Private Finance Initiative deal which included the rebuilding of the hospital. It in turn employs the PCP Enforcement Agency to collect fines.

A Carillion spokesperson said: ‘Carillion is responsible for managing parking on behalf of the hospital trust, to prevent congestion and the abuse of parking spaces.

‘The regulations covering the car parks including the cost of parking and penalty charges are clearly displayed, along with details of how to appeal any excess charge. Free ‘drop off or pick up’ zones are available but purely for these purposes.

‘The car parks at the hospital have received the ‘Park Mark’ award, an independent initiative to recognise good practice and standards in the industry.’