Hospital's green scheme causing problems

IPSWICH: A green car sharing initiative at Ipswich Hospital is today causing confusion - leading to patients being slapped with hefty fines.

IPSWICH: A green car sharing initiative at Ipswich Hospital is today causing confusion - leading to patients being slapped with hefty fines.

Hospitalrides, a scheme for out-patient appointments and in-patient visiting, was launched earlier this month to save patients and their families money by reducing petrol costs and car parking fees.

However, it appears the seven green-coloured bays, which have a sign next to them, are causing confusion among visitors with several receiving fines for parking in the spaces despite paying for a valid ticket.

A hospital spokeswoman today said the signs were clear but said as the scheme was so new those who have been fined should get in touch to see if the matter can be resolved.

Lee-Alison Winger, 39, of Thackeray Road, Ipswich, went to the hospital for the first scan of her pregnancy. She parked in one of the Hospitalrides bays as she believed they were for outpatients and bought two car park tickets, spending a total of �5.20.

She said: “I would not have minded but I saw the sign and read it and thought I'm an outpatient attending an appointment so I can park there. I didn't see anything about a fine.

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“I think a lot of people have been caught out in the same way.”

She was given a �60 fine, which is reduced to �30 if paid within 40 days.

Jan Rowsell, a spokeswoman for the hospital, said: “We feel the signs are very clear. We would ask people not to park in the spaces reserved for Hospitalrides.

“We recognise there may have been some sort of confusion and so if people had bought a valid ticket and got fined, we urge them to get in touch with us.”

The special bays are situated in car park J, meaning a guaranteed parking space for those taking part in the scheme.

For more information on the new scheme, visit www.hospitalrides.co.uk.

Those who have been fined should call Jan Rowsell on 01473 704770.

Have you tried the new car sharing scheme? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.