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WOOHOO! Parking fines in Bushey overturned following investigation

 Published on: 31st March 2024   |   By: Annabel Stock   |   Category: Uncategorized

Following last month’s cover story, regarding fines being handed out at Bushey Medical Centre car park, more than 20 residents have been in touch with BUSHEYnews.

Linda Green was horrified to receive a fine in the post, as she was still in her car with the engine running when the warden allegedly snapped a photo. Linda said that her terminally ill husband, whom she was taking to the surgery, was left “distressed”.

Following this, BUSHEYnews got in touch with car park operators PPS who, after reviewing CCTV, stated that this ticket was issued in error. They have since cancelled the fine.

BUSHEYnews also heard from Ramona, who said that her daughter had been sick in her sister’s car while en-route to the GP. After dropping Ramona and her daughter off, Ramona’s sister attempted to clean the car. She asked the ticket officer if it was okay, and he allegedly assured her that being there for under three minutes wouldn’t result in a charge.

As she went to retrieve a cloth from the back of the car, however, she said the warden snapped a photograph which made it appear as if no one was in the vehicle.

Shortly after, a fine landed on the doormat.

Ramona said: “I was heartbroken and crying – it seemed so unfair.”

BUSHEYnews got in touch with PPS who, after looking into Ramona’s case, overturned the fine.

A spokesperson for PPS said: “This fine should never have been issued. On this occasion, I am at a loss to understand how this has slipped through and the warden involved has been given a warning and moved to a different area.”

Louise Halahmy, director of operations for Manor View Practice (MVP) at Bushey Medical Centre, told BUSHEYnews: “Attenborough Health Premises Ltd own and manage the estate at Bushey in its entirety, which includes the management of the land and car park. We at MVP are their tenants. To date, we have had a number of formal and informal complaints regarding the management of the car park, and the treatment patients have received from the procured management company.

“We do our best to be transparent about the process, but we do not have the jurisdiction to offer anything other than sympathy and advice. We at MVP are trying to mitigate the capacity issues by now advising staff to car share whenever possible and are encouraging a walk-to-work policy.”

After raising concerns over parking with a number of councillors, Bushey North councillor Laurence Brass said: “The reality is that there are insufficient parking spaces for two large surgeries, but that is not a reason for the inconsiderate way some patients are treated by the privately employed wardens.

“There are two ways to resolve the parking impasse which were suggested at the meeting last summer. First, it is to encourage patients to walk if they live nearby and, secondly, surgery staff should be told not to use the restricted car parking spaces available. I am continuing to encourage both solutions.”

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden CBE, MP for Hertsmere, visited the car park on Friday, March 8.

He said: “I was very concerned to hear of ill and vulnerable people trying to get to their medical appointments and having to pay £100 penalties for parking their car.

“I have made representations to Bushey Medical Centre and PPS, raising residents’ concerns and to see what can be done both in terms of the fines and the potential for more parking space.”

A spokesperson and warden for PPS said: “The camera glitch that has allowed some tickets to go through without being checked by a person has now been solved and I have indeed found 14 in the last three weeks that should not have been issued and we have cancelled these tickets.

“I have been at Bushey Medical Centre for approximately 10 months now and always behave professionally and with courtesy and common sense at all times.

“The yellow lines on the parking bay you say we entrap people in will be extended along the back and an extra sign erected to make sure people can see it is not a parking bay; it is a turning circle.

“I have built up a good relationship with most people that attend the medical centre and I am always making myself known and advising people where they can and cannot park.”

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