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Calls For Clearer Signs
A patient at East Kilbride's Hunter Health Centre has called for clearer signs after she was a hit with a fine while parking at its multi-storey car park.
Karen McCann, from Westwood, was attending a doctors appointment last week.
It was the first time she had used the multi-storey since it opened in May.
The Hunter Health Centre was officially opened this week by the Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell MSP.
While the multi-storey car park is owned and maintained by NHS Lanarkshire, it is operated by South Lanarkshire Council, who slapped customer services advisor Karen with a fine for not displaying a ticket.
However, Karen said while she read the sign saying patients at the health centre can park for free for up to 90 minutes, it is not clear a ticket still has to be displayed.
Staff at the multi-million pound Hunter Health Centre have previously raised concerns over parking permits – with only a limited number of medical staff entitled to a permit.
And Karen said she is not the only patient to be caught out with a fine at the multi-storey after her appeal was rejected.
She said: “When I went to pay for my parking, which used to be 60p in the old car park, the note on the machine stated that parking is free for up to 90 mins for patients.
“On seeing this notice I then went back to my car and put the change back that wasn’t needed and went for my doctors appointment.
“When I returned to my car less than 30 mins later I was very surprised and angry to see that I have been given a ticket.
“I then went back to look at the ticket machine and noticed that under the part which states that the parking is free it goes on to say that patients should press the green button.
“The press the green button part should be clearly stated first to avoid any confusion.”
Karen went on: “When I contacted South Lanarkshire Council to appeal I was advised that the fine would not be cancelled as I didn’t have a ticket that was both valid and clearly displayed.
“What is definitely not clearly displayed is that patients have to press the green button to display a ticket and I feel this is to catch people out.
“I have spoken to so many people who have said they have also been fined or know someone who has been fined for this very reason.
“I ended up paying the £30 fine as I didn’t want to be hit with a £60 fine for being late with the payment but I can’t be the only person who has been caught out like this.”
Gordon Mackay, Head of Roads and Transportation Services at South Lanarkshire Council, said: “The Hunter Health Centre car park is owned and maintained by NHS Lanarkshire, and consequently any amendments to the existing arrangements would be a matter for NHS Lanarkshire.”
Monica Lennon, Central Scotland MSP, has also called for operational issues with parking to be resolved. She said: “Some staff members who have made the transition have, however, raised concerns with me over the availability and cost of parking for staff in the centre’s new car park, which I recently raised with NHS Lanarkshire. I hope that the review into the suitability of parking arrangements which is now taking place will yield a successful outcome for all involved.”
Graham Johnston, NHS Lanarkshire’s head of management services, said: “The number of parking spaces available in the new multi-decked car park is significantly more than were available at the old Hunter Health Centre. We have also provided free patient parking which was not available at the old centre.
“Parking in the patient areas is restricted to 90 minutes to ensure that users have plenty of time to attend appointments and prevent anyone from using these areas for long stay purposes. To manage this, patients are required to display a ticket within their vehicle indicating their time of arrival.”