Health workers are being forced to leave wards to move their cars on streets near a Sheffield hospital – as a parking clampdown is launched targeting NHS staff.
Workers at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital regularly leave their vehicles in on-street bays when the hospital’s dedicated multi-storey car park is full.
But a nurse at the site said Sheffield Council has now started issuing fines to staff who top up meters after the maximum four hours without moving their cars elsewhere.
Coun Leigh Bramall, the council’s cabinet member for business, skills and development, said enforcement has been stepped up following ‘an increase in people parking for long periods, well beyond the time limits in place’.
The nurse, who did not want to be named, said she thought it was ‘totally unacceptable’ that staff were not allowed to pay to park on streets including Beech Hill Road, Northumberland Road and Palmerston Road all day.
“Many of us do not fit the criteria to be able to have a parking permit, so are forced to use the hospital car park, or the metered bays,” she said, adding the multi-storey is often full, especially in the afternoon.
“We have little we can do but resort to topping up the meters for us to continue with our shifts. However, many of us are now receiving fines. We are aware this practice is not council policy and we should move our cars, but we have no alternative.
“We are here to do a job, often a very difficult one, which is being compounded by staff leaving to move their cars.”
Fines are £35 if paid within two weeks, then £70 afterwards.
Mr Bramall said: “Parking around the hospital is a big problem as there simply isn’t enough space. Our main priority is to provide short-term bays for patients to make it as easy as possible for them to park. People visiting will know there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to park.
“There are bays for longer term parking a short walk away and the hospitals have specially designed travel plans, developed with staff, to give them all the information about how to get to the hospital and where they can park.”