Health centre parking system sees disabled residents fined

EFFORTS have been launched to help disabled and vulnerable people caught out by a parking system at Havant Health Centre.

Friday, 23rd December 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 24th December 2016, 10:31 am
Havant Ukip group leader John Perry with Joe Slack, 77, who was unaware of the new parking system at Havant Health Centre

The system, operated by Smart Parking, was set up six months ago to stop people abusing the car park.

Users now have to enter their registration numbers into an iPad inside the centre – or they will receive a fine.

But according to Havant Ukip group leader John Perry, the move has affected innocent people.

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He said: ‘I was dismayed to learn disabled residents were being fined and that the scheme operator initially refused all appeals.

‘Many have failed to notice what they needed to do and have been unable to get their charges reversed.’

Cllr Perry added: ‘I understand why the system has been put in place, but I’m not happy the older generation and people with disabilities are suffering because of it.’

‘I urge anyone charged because of an innocent failure to comply with rules to contact me. I’m willing to pursue claims.’

The Hayling East councillor has managed to overturn fines for some residents, including 85-year-old Arthur Pither.

Helen Armstrong, a relative of Mr Pither’s, said the disabled pensioner got a £60 fine because a digit entered into the iPad with the help of a receptionist was incorrect.

Helen said: ‘Arthur’s appeal was turned down and he was told he’d have to pay £100 if he appealed again and lost.

‘He paid the £60, but I think it’s disgusting. Luckily Cllr Perry was able to help us.’

Disabled ex-serviceman Joe Slack, 77, was also fined.

He said: ‘At the time myself and my partner, who is also disabled, parked up, there was a small sign up – which we didn’t even see.

‘I didn’t know anything about the changes because we weren’t notified beforehand.

‘When you do the same trip for years and a change is made you should be told. It’s unfair.’

Cllr Perry is currently seeking to have Mr Slack’s charge reversed.

A spokesperson for NHS Property Services said: We take feedback very seriously and have been working with Smart Parking to ensure appropriate signage and concessions are in place.

‘The company’s appeals system is being reviewed and they are providing more parking attendant hours to assist visitors.’

Smart Parking said its services were brought in to ensure patients can always find a parking space.

It stressed that parking is free for those patients, but they must enter their details into the terminal next to reception desk.