A new parking regime is to be in place at hospitals in Northumberland and North Tyneside by the end of this month.
After listening to the views of local people, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has concluded talks with ParkingEye, the company which has provided parking management at its general hospitals in Northumberland and North Tyneside.
As a result of these discussions, the parking management contract with ParkingEye has been brought to an end and the car parks at Wansbeck, Hexham and North Tyneside general hospitals will have alternative systems in place by the end of April 2014.
Northumbria Healthcare held discussions with ParkingEye after patients and visitors had raised a number of issues regarding the number plate recognition system which was installed in May 2013.
Patients and visitors should continue to pay for parking and carefully observe signage in hospital car parks which will explain how to do this.
With immediate effect, people can only pay for parking with cash at the payment machines and can no longer use pay by phone, text, app or website.
Disabled (blue) badge holders will continue to receive free parking however they no longer need to register. They must, however, display their blue badge in their car windscreen.
Steven Bannister, director of estates and facilities at the trust, said: “The ParkingEye system was introduced to standardise car park management across our general hospital sites and provide patients and visitors with more ways to pay.
“While it did achieve these aims, many patients and visitors reported to us that they found the system difficult and confusing to use.
“We are aware it was, at times, causing anxiety to our patients and visitors, and we have acted on this.
“We would encourage the public to bear with us as we work to install alternative parking arrangements and we would remind people to continue to pay using the systems in place and carefully observe the signage.”
Anyone with queries about parking during office hours should call the trust’s estates team on 0191 293 4353 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For queries outside office hours, contact security via switchboard on 0344 811 8111.
Anyone who is already dealing with ParkingEye regarding an outstanding parking charge should continue to liaise with the company.