St Albans hospital staff hit by parking fines

A UKPC parking sign on Goldsmith Way, St Albans

A UKPC parking sign on Goldsmith Way, St Albans - Credit: Archant

Nurses at St Albans City Hospital were left reaching for their purses recently after a car park management firm suddenly began operating on a local road and hit them with £100 fines.

The nurses are particularly aggrieved that they were not warned about changes to parking conditions on Goldsmith Way and that just the day before receiving the fine they had parked on the road without a problem.

A nurse, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Herts Advertiser that she and fellow colleagues who were penalised had often parked on the street, not realising it was a private road.

When she contacted UK Parking Control (UKPC), she was told there was no legal requirement to give notice about impending changes.

She said: “There are signs there now but there weren’t any the day before we got fined.

“They could have just put a flyer or some notification on my car to warn me about the changes.

“The whole idea of swooping like that is awful. Apparently you cannot park there now without a permit. Getting this ticket has stressed me.”

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UKPC, which has declined to comment, has rejected the nurse’s appeal against the fine.

St Albans district councillor for Batchwood Mal Pakenham said the problem stemmed from Goldsmith Way being an unadopted road, despite homes being built in the location more than 10 years ago and repeated calls for it to be adopted by Herts county council.

He said: “It’s jointly owned by the residents. People have got fed up with people parking in front of their driveways and a decision has been made to restrict the parking as it has been a problem.”

The council is continuing talks with West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust about letting the city’s hospital use a piece of “council scrap land” near Temple View for additional parking for staff.

The combination of limited parking for those working at the hospital site on Waverley Road and increased parking restrictions on neighbouring local roads had had a “knock-on effect,” pushing the problem onto other streets such as Ladies Grove.

Mike Lovelady, head of legal services at the council, said: “The owners [of Goldsmith Way] can employ a private company to take enforcement action against vehicles parked in the road without permission by issuing parking charge notices. The council has no power over this.”

Those unhappy with responses from UKPC can contact the parking watchdog British Parking Association for advice.