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Court rules hospital staff must pay parking fines

Nurses are among Cardiff hospital staff who are ‘devastated’ by decision on parking tickets that has left many owing hundreds of pounds.
Parking row

Nurses are among staff at a Cardiff hospital who are devastated by a court ruling over parking fines, which has left many owing hundreds of pounds.

Last week a judge at Cardiff Civil Justice Centre ruled that private company Indigo could collect the charges from the University Hospital of Wales staff members.

Court costs

A group of 78 staff with outstanding parking penalties face paying 128 for each parking notice, campaigners have said. They must also pay a portion of the 26,000 in costs that were awarded to Indigo by the judge.

Campaigner Sue Prior said the staff have permits to allow them to park at the hospital for 1.05 a day. However, they often could not find a space in the dedicated area and

Nurses are among staff at a Cardiff hospital who are ‘devastated’ by a court ruling over parking fines, which has left many owing hundreds of pounds.


The staff received fines despite having paid for parking tickets, said campaigner Sue Prior. Picture: Jonathan Rowley

Last week a judge at Cardiff Civil Justice Centre ruled that private company Indigo could collect the charges from the University Hospital of Wales staff members. 

Court costs

A group of 78 staff with outstanding parking penalties face paying £128 for each parking notice, campaigners have said. They must also pay a portion of the £26,000 in costs that were awarded to Indigo by the judge.

Campaigner Sue Prior said the staff have permits to allow them to park at the hospital for £1.05 a day. However, they often could not find a space in the dedicated area and would park in unauthorised spaces. Despite having paid for a parking ticket they would receive a fine, said Ms Prior, from Taff Ely Parking Action Group.

The court will decide how much each person should pay of the £26,000 charges at a later date. But, if divided equally, it would come out at around £325 for each person, plus £128 per parking fine, Ms Prior said.

‘Persistent offenders’

Indigo said the court hearing related to three persistent offenders, who have accumulated in excess of 100 parking notices between them since April 2016. 

‘The court’s ruling has justified our decision to take this action,’ a company spokesperson said.

Ms Prior said some nurses had already left their posts over the parking dispute. ‘There are feelings of utter devastation,’ she said. ‘We are talking about houses being lost, marriages breaking down, bankruptcies.’

RCN Wales said University Hospital of Wales has insufficient spaces for the 6,500 staff that need a space every day. While recognising the employer has tried to improve the situation through a park and ride scheme and bike racks, it said these have proved insufficient.

Financial hardship

‘We know that people are having to park a long way off site or walk to work, and after a twilight shift have to return to their cars or walk home in the dark,’ said RCN Wales director Tina Donnelly. ‘Due to the current cap on pay, nurses are contacting us with hardship issues and car parking charges only add to their financial problems. A solution to this issue needs to be found.’

Parking will be free at the hospital from June 2018 as part of move to end car parking fees in hospitals across Wales.

The Taff Ely Parking Action Group is now crowd-funding to raise money while it looks into the possibility of an appeal.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, which runs the hospital, said it is ‘disappointing that a few people have chosen to refuse to co-operate’ with Indigo. ‘We are aware there are significant financial costs and of the financial hardship the staff have placed themselves in. We encourage all staff to engage with Indigo Car Parking Service UK at the earliest opportunity to avoid mounting legal and court costs,’ the health board said.


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