"Impossible to input registration on a poorly lit parking payment machine at night"

About: South Tyneside District Hospital

(as a friend),

I would like to complain about the car park company you use at this hospital (Parking Eye). They have issued me a ticket for a visit I made to South Tyneside hospital.

I am shocked that they had the cheek to issue this when I did in fact pay. I purchased a ticket for 1 hour and paid £1. 20 if I remember correctly. The problem was the system relies on the driver inputting a registration number into the machine. I attempted to do this but it was dark (19: 35 in early March). The machine has no light on it so I could not see to input the registration. I put in the money and pressed whatever buttons I could until a ticket came out. I went to the receptionist in the hospital with my ticket and explained my predicament. She advised me that this happened all of the time but that the equipment wasn’t owned by the hospital. I returned to display the ticket in my car.

The car park is pay and display. I paid and displayed. They ask for motorists to input a registration then provide equipment that can’t be operated correctly due to lack of illumination. I still paid anyway. The ANPR cameras show me arriving and leaving in the dark.

You must be aware of this problem so it is shocking that you employ a company that is callous enough to issue PCNs to people who have paid when they and you know they can’t comply. The husband of the terminally ill patient I went to visit gets around this issue by carrying a torch he has since told me.

I understand car park spaces need managing but not by apparent cowboys who prey on visitors who cannot comply with their ludicrous system.

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Response from South Tyneside District Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments regarding our services on the NHS Choices website. I am really sorry you experienced difficulty in entering your car registration number into the ticket machine when parking in the hospital on an evening. Given the description you have provided, it would be very difficult for Parking Eye to know the digits you entered into the system related to your vehicle. The system is not "pay and display" in the sense that there is not a necessity to display your ticke once purchased as the computer system recognises your payment. However, on this occasion, as you admit, the incorrect letters/numbers were entered into the machnine and the cameras would have no means of matching your vehicle entering and leaving the site against the incorrectly entered information. I apologise if the lighting on the machines was inadequate, however, this was a factor recognised ealry on following the introduction of the new system and has since bene rectified. If you are able to provie me with a copy of your ticket and your registratuion details, I can have one of the managers contact Parking Eye on your behalf to have your parking charge waivered. Kind regards Lorraine B Lambert Chief Executive

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