Figures reveal number of parking fines issued at NHS hospitals and how many appeals were upheld

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, which includes the John Radcliffe Hospital, nearly 80% of appeals were successful last year. Credit: ITV Meridian

It's claimed thousands of patients, visitors and healthcare workers are being given unfair parking fines in hospital car parks.

But exclusive figures by ITV's Good Morning Britain has found most appeals are being upheld.

At the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, which includes the John Radcliffe Hospital, nearly 80% of appeals were successful last year.

The trust is handing out the most parking fines to patients and visitors across the Meridian region according to figures.

Nearly 12,700 'parking charge notices' were given out by the Oxford trust last year.

However, 2,500 appeals were made, and 79% were successful.

The majority of appeals over parking fines at NHS hospitals in the region were upheld. Credit: ITV Meridian

In a statement Mark Holloway, Chief Estates and Facilities Officer at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “In many cases, visitors appeal a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) when there are legitimate reasons.

“For example, when a blue badge holder parks in a disabled bay and forgets to display their blue badge, they will be issued with a PCN.

"If they appeal the PCN and provide their blue badge details, the fine will likely be overturned.

“It is very rare that a PCN is appealed when the driver has parked illegally or not paid, and in these circumstances the PCN has been issued appropriately and the appeal would not be upheld.”

The British Parking Association says hospitals must make sure patients can access the parking.

Andrew Pester from the Association said: "Parking operators are not out to get genuine users at hospitals, but enforcement and appropriate deterrent is required to prevent misuse of car parks by commuters and shoppers clogging up valuable spaces that should be there for those who most need it.

"Whether that's people visiting sick relatives or people going to hospital for treatment."

  • Andrew Pester, British Parking Association

In comparison to the Oxford University Trust's nearly 13,000 parking fines, the Royal Berkshire Trust based in Reading handed out just over 1800 fines.

Out of 830 appeals last year, half were successful. The Trust also says the vast majority were from Blue Badge holders.

A spokesperson for the trust told us only 15.21% of PCNS were cancelled so far this year (2024).

And of those cancelled, the vast majority is are blue badge holders who haven’t registered with the Trust.

At the Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust, which includes Amersham and Stoke Mandeville Hospitals - 88% of appeals were upheld.

At the QA Hospital in Portsmouth, more than 3600 fines were handed out, but 94% of appeals made were upheld.

For fines at Salisbury Hospital's car park, 40% of appeals were upheld.

At University Hospital Dorset's Trust, 31% of appeals by drivers were successful.

Both Portsmouth and Salisbury hospitals say they experienced a technical error in 2023 which did result in fines being wrongly issued for a short time.

40% of appeals were upheld for parking fines at Salisbury District Hospital's car park. Credit: ITV Meridian

A UHD spokesperson said: "There are two main reasons for the increase in revenue. Firstly, we have had more visitors to our sites – the number of cars coming onto our sites has gone up by over 10%.

"Secondly, we have 500 more staff members with parking permits than the previous year, and we have increased our costs as we have leased extra spaces.

Much of our staff car parking is off site and UHD is charged for these spaces, and these costs have gone up. We pay to maintain our own car parks and manage them as well. We know that parking is often a major concern for patients and visitors, and revenue from our car parking is also used to support more sustainable transport alternatives.

"We encourage our staff to use public transport or to cycle/walk to work where possible and also have incentives for lift sharing and for buying bicycles and ebikes.

"Any surplus revenue from car parking goes back into front line patient care and supporting the running of our hospitals.

"There is also free parking or parking concessions for certain groups, including parents staying overnight with a child, or patients receiving regular courses of treatment.

The British Parking Association says any driver who gets a ticket they think is unfair - should appeal directly to the issuer, then to the free independent appeals service.

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