Following reports of several residents being issued with fines in the car parks servicing health facilities in Coker Close, Bicester, local Councillor Dan Sames contacted NHS Property Services to request an urgent review into “overzealous” practices.
The site contains a variety of NHS services including Bicester Community Hospital, Bicester Health Centre, Montgomery House Surgery, Bicester Dental Surgery and a pharmacy which serves residents from across the town. However, patients are being issued penalties of £100 for parking in the incorrect zone or using multiple facilities on the same visit without moving their car.
Dan said: “Enforcement is far too strict. Patients should not be subjected to this additional anxiety when legitimately using local health services. NHS Property Services who oversee the estate has confirmed that legacy arrangements over a prolonged period of time have resulted in the Coker Close site having three separate car park contracts which are largely the cause of the problem.”
With the number of local complaints rising, NHS Property Services has acknowledged that the level of dissatisfaction amongst residents is unacceptable and that the current arrangements are confusing. The company has agreed to ensure displayed parking notices are made clearer for patients to help address the issue in the short term and confirmed that, on a national level, they are in the process of appointing a single car park management operator that will provide a longer-term solution.
Dan added: “I am pleased that NHS Property Services has recognised that the current situation is unsatisfactory and are putting plans in place to rectify it both on a local and national level. We will continue to press for those solutions to come to fruition and will keep a watchful eye on developments.”