Parking permit crisis leaves Bassetlaw hospital staff paying the price

Bassetlaw Hospital Sstaff are up in arms while they wait months for discounted parking permits.
Bassetlaw Hospital Sstaff are up in arms while they wait months for discounted parking permits.

Staff at Worksop’s Bassetlaw Hospital say they are having to pay hundreds of pounds a month to park at work because administrators have been overwhelmed by demand for permits.

The hospital brought in an automatic number plate recognition system several months ago as part of its new arrangements with private management company SABA.

Intended to make identification of non-paying car park users easier, the change has produced a crisis in processing staff permit applications.

A senior member of staff, who declined to be named, said: “With a permit, I would be entitled to a reduced parking rate of £23.46 a month.

“As it is, I and many others are paying the full rate of £8.70 a day while we sit on a waiting list.

“I live on a single income, too far away to walk or catch a bus.

“The situation is even worse for junior members of staff on lower pay.

“I know someone who just received a permit having applied for it last November.

“It’s causing problems to the hospital’s neighbours, as more and more people are trying to park on nearby streets.

“There are also safety concerns for staff, especially women, who have to walk back to their vehicles after finishing work late at night.”

A spokesman for Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, acknowledged the ANPR system had provoked a surge in permit applications and said a plan is now being drawn up to deal with the backlog.

Demand for permits from the hospital’s staff consistently exceeds available space, with about 1,000 employees in contention for 40 per cent of 750 parking spaces allocated to permit-holders.

Currently, a small number permits are allocated each month on a first-come, first-served basis as existing permit-holders leave the trust.

The trust spokesman said: “As a consequence of increased applications, we have introduced a heavily discounted rate of £1.50 to park from 5.30pm-8.30am at the hospital. We also provide free parking for disabled workers and patients, and free drop-off zone for A&E patients and women in labour.”

The trust’s estates team are also looking at ways to create more permit-only spaces, as well as the introduction of discounted evening and weekend permits.

The spokesman said that any member of staff walking off site to their vehicle at night can request a security team escort.