Rising demand on the NHS makes itself evident in many ways. One of them is the pressure on parking for hospital staff and visitors.
There are a number of ‘abuse’ issues related to hospital car parking:
● Pay and display - It’s costly paying parking attendants to constantly patrol. Drivers may overstay or not pay and display at all. Drivers might pass on pay and display tickets that still have time remaining; either way, revenue is lost.
● Drop-off zones - Hospital drop off zones might allow waiting for anything from 5 – 20 minutes. However, abuse of drop-off zones is widespread. Continual patrolling is the usual approach for catching offenders overstaying and moving them on.
● Blue Badge cheats - Abuse of the Blue Badge scheme is widespread, through the misuse of permits issued to disabled people by able-bodied people to gain free, preferential parking in disabled parking bays.
● Blocked emergency vehicle access - Vehicles left illegally or inconsiderately may restrict access to ambulances, placing emergency patients at risk by delaying treatment.
One obvious answer is to use gates and barriers to control access to car parking areas and issue tokens or magnetic stripe ticketing on entry to facilitate payment and allow exit. However, barrier queues at hospital entrances can cause traffic to back up on main roads and bar access to emergency vehicles. They are not a magic bullet and can be counterproductive.