The first phase of a new 300-space car park at Bath’s Royal United Hospital opened yesterday (Monday 12th September), coinciding with the introduction of a new parking payment system.
A total of 185 new spaces are now available to visitors and patients, while work continues to complete the car park construction work.
That includes straightening the road leading from the main entrance roundabout, which will be closed for three and a half weeks.
Drivers are being advised to use the Penn Hill Road entrance to reach the new car park. Diversion and information signs will be in place.
Howard Jones, Director of Estates and Facilities, said: “We apologise for any inconvenience, but hope visitors will appreciate that we are providing 185 new spaces as soon as we can, rather than waiting to open the entire car park once it’s all finished.”
The new automated number plate recognition (ANPR) system also started on Monday. It works by cameras capturing a vehicle’s number plate when entering and leaving a car park.
Drivers will pay by coin, card or phone. They can also pay by phone and online after having left the hospital, as long as they do so before midnight on the day they visited.
Blue Badge holders will continue to park for free. But they need to log their vehicle registration number(s) and Blue Badge details on to the database so the system will recognise that they qualify for free parking.
There are two ways to register vehicle(s) and Blue Badge details. Go to the main hospital reception desk with a copy of your Blue badge and vehicle registration, or call on 01225 824100 and present your Blue Badge for validation at reception when you next visit the RUH.
Each Blue Badge holder can register up to three vehicles.
Once registered and confirmed, you still need to display your badge in your vehicle while parked.
If you do not register your vehicle and badge you will have to pay the standard parking tariff, or be liable to an £80 parking charge notice. For more information, go to: http://www.ruh.nhs.uk/finding/car_parking_FAQ.asp.
Community transport and volunteer drivers should email lists of vehicle registration numbers to [email protected] to be included on the database.
Vehicles will then avoid charges should they overstay in areas like the 20-min drop off, and can park for free in the public car parks.
The new ANPR system is aimed at improving the available parking for all patients and visitors and enhancing their experience of coming to the hospital. Parking charges, for the fifth year running, will not be increased, while a seven-day ticket replaces the five-day ticket at no extra cost.
Howard Jones said: “We’re really pleased to be able to open so many spaces in the new car park which, when finished, will make a big difference to our patients and visitors. I’d like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during the construction work.”
The new ANPR system will be operated by the car park management company ParkingEye, which will monitor and analyse parking data and issue parking charge notices in accordance with NHS parking guidelines. An appeals process will be available. Parking revenue, as now, will be collected by the Trust.
Parking fees are intended to cover the cost of providing onsite parking, including ownership, maintenance, security and staffing and are not designed to generate profit.