Confusion over disabled parking at Norwich hospital

Geoff Parker, 86, who was fined for parking in a disabled space at Norwich Community Hospital. Pictu

Geoff Parker, 86, who was fined for parking in a disabled space at Norwich Community Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A disabled man has dubbed parking at a Norwich hospital a 'scam' after he received a fine for parking in a disabled bay.

Geoff Parker has had appointments at Norwich Community Hospital, in Bowthorpe Road, every 12 weeks for the last four years.

And at each appointment he parks in a disabled bay, displaying his blue badge, before going inside.

But after an appointment earlier this month, the 86-year-old received a letter telling him to pay £60.

'I couldn't understand this,' said Mr Parker, of Spelman Road.

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'Out of curiosity I looked at their website and they state that disabled drivers must show their badge at the reception desk.

'But I've been going there for years and have seen no signs, reception knows I'm disabled and no one ever said anything.'

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Mr Parker added he thought many people would have been caught out, as he felt the procedure was not made clear.

Mr Parker paid the fine – as he felt with the notification on the website he could not appeal – but wanted to warn others so they were not affected. However, after the involvement of this newspaper, he has now been issued a refund.

'I don't usually check the website every time I go,' he added.

Pay-and-display parking was reintroduced at the hospital in 2011, with bosses saying it was a bid to promote greener travel alternatives to cars. However, disabled drivers can park for free, although on the hospital's website it does say details should be given to reception.

Paul Larman, estate manager, said: 'All Blue Badge holders are entitled to free parking at Norwich Community Hospital. Signs are displayed around the site which state that people need to inform our reception of their number plate, so they don't receive a fine, and extra signs have recently been put up.

'Anyone who feels they have been issued with a ticket in error has the right to appeal it by contacting the company which manages the car park, Park Solve Ltd.

'As a goodwill gesture we have taken up the issue with Park Solve Ltd on Mr Parker's behalf, and a refund is being issued to him.'

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