Parking firm wins court battle against nurses accused of ignoring fines
A court has ordered three nurses to pay £4,000 to a parking firm after failing to pay fines incurred at the hospital where they work.
A court has ordered three nurses to pay more than £4,000 to a parking firm after they failed to pay fines incurred at their hospital
The trio were taken to Dundee Sheriff Court by Indigo UK parking services over unpaid tickets at Ninewells Hospital.
The civil action is seen as a test case for other drivers who refuse to pay fines at the hospital – and is set to be discussed with politicians.
According to the firm, nursing student Conor Watson owed £1,085 for a total of eight separate fines of £40 and eight times the recovery charge of £96.
It added children's nurse Nicola Meachan owed £952 for seven fines and recovery costs; while breast cancer care clinical nurse Julie Lindsay was ordered to pay £2,040 for 15 parking tickets.
Mr Watson also alleged his fines were issued in 2016 before the contractor changed its name from Indigo Infra Dundee, making the claim invalid.
Ms Lindsay paid for her parking, but said she overran the allotted time due to her shifts running late because of the demands of her service.
Suitability and time limits
In each case, the nurses said they could not afford the annual parking permits, or that they were unsuitable for their shifts or placements.
However, sheriff Lorna Drummond ruled the company name change was raised too late and rejected claims by the nurses that the signs were not clear, unenforceable and exorbitant.
The civil action was seen as a test case for drivers refusing to pay fines received at Ninewells and many others – including more members of staff – could find themselves in a similar situation.
An Indigo UK spokesperson said: ‘We run the contract to enforce parking restrictions at Ninewells Hospital in order to keep the site safe and free-flowing for users including emergency vehicles.
‘The motorists ignored the parking charge notices issued and declined to use the formal appeals process.
‘On average over 12 separate notices were issued, which equated to an average of £1,360 of unpaid charges per person.'
Indigo UK said the motorists would have received an average of 84 letters each on how they could appeal or settle their outstanding notices.
‘Cases are constantly reviewed and we only consider legal action as a final resort,' the spokesperson added.
The matter will be discussed with Scottish members of parliament on 29 September as part of a regular quarterly briefing between NHS Tayside, which runs Ninewells, and politicians.
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