Council to temporarily run Aldershot Centre for Health car park

Aldershot Centre for Health, Aldershot.

by Alex Cameron

A pay and display parking service is being introduced on a temporary basis at Aldershot Centre for Health from 3 August 2018.

Rushmoor Borough Council has stepped in to provide the pay and display system on an interim basis until NHS Property Services (NHSPS), which manages the health centre site, appoints a new permanent parking contractor.

Until 3 August, patients must continue to use the existing Smart Parking camera-based system to avoid receiving a fine.

Back in May, NHSPS ended its local contract with Smart Parking, which will leave the site at the end of 2 August when a notice period expires.

Councillor David Clifford, Leader of Rushmoor Borough Council, said: “We’re really pleased NHS Property Services turned to us to run the temporary parking service while they find a long-term solution.

“We’re confident our management of the car park will improve the experience for patients and we have teamed up with our NHS partners, doctors and MP for Aldershot, Leo Docherty to make this happen.”

The council’s interim system is a pay and display model, where people insert the appropriate money into machines in the car park and receive a ticket that must be displayed in their car as proof of payment. The machines will only be able to take coins.

Tony Griffiths, Head of Special Projects at NHS Property Services added: “Space at the centre is limited and we need an effective management system to try and make sure patients can park when they visit.

“We’d like to thank the council for stepping in while we appoint a contractor to deliver the permanent solution.”

Council Civil Enforcement Officers will patrol the car park and, where needed, issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) of £50 or £70, depending on the offence. These charges will be discounted by 50% if paid within 14 days, as in other council-run car parks.

The prices for parking are unchanged, as follows:

New signage and posters are being put up at the centre while leaflets detailing the changes are being offered to patients.

As with most pay and display systems, there is no free period for cars left unattended. However, the dedicated area at the main entrance is unchanged and allows motorists to drop-off and pick-up patients for free, but vehicles must not be left unattended in this area.

When the interim system begins from 3 August, blue badge holders will be able to park for free in any patient parking bay, as long as they display their badge in their windscreen.

As with any pay and display system, car park users must make a best estimate to pay for the time they think will need and are advised to consider the possibility of late-running appointments when deciding how long to pay for. If they find themselves overrunning on their stay (e.g. because of a late-running appointment), if it is possible to do so, they can buy another ticket and display it in their car to avoid a PCN. However, if a motorist finds a PCN on their vehicle, they are advised to appeal it by following the instructions in the PCN and explain the reasons for the overstay as part of the appeal.

A spokesman for NHS North East Hampshire and Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group, which arranges and funds many of the health services provided at Aldershot Centre for Health, said: “It is important that people attending the site for medical appointments can do so without having to worry about the car parking arrangements.

“The involvement of Rushmoor Borough Council, who have extensive experience of managing car parks locally, will bring a user-friendly system that will enable visitors to focus on their health needs and not whether they have correctly paid to park.”

Aldershot Centre for Health receives about 25,000 visits a month.

Click here to download the patient leaflet on the new arrangements.