At this hospital ParkingEye run the car parks and only make money if transgressions occur. It is therefore in their interest to devise complicated and unintelligible signage to maximise the amount of confusion caused to motorists, and therefore maximise their income. It seems they have succeeded, as can be measured by the large number of complaints fielded by the hospital. Motorist have to guess how long they stayed and are penalised if they get this or their registration wrong. ParkingEye already know both these facts, and can easily fix this; however, then they would get no income.
ParkingEye get the money from overstays, while the hospital get the regular pay and display income. Ironically the hospital parking income has also increased. It is not clear whether this is due to drivers overpaying because they are scared of getting penalised, or whether this is due to increased compliance, or both.
At the end of the article the quiz asks you to work out various car park charges. The Prankster would like to point out that any reasoned answer you give is correct. The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999 points out that if a contract is forced on a consumer and contains ambiguous wording, then the contract must be interpreted to the benefit of the consumer. Simply put - if you thought it meant something, then it did! This is despite what ParkingEye or the hospital thought the signage meant.
The hospital parking regime is currently being run in defiance of government guidelines. This makes it clear:
They will have to act against rogue contractors and not sign contracts ‘on any basis that incentivises fines’.Helen Ashley is currently the Chief Executive of the hospital, so the buck stops with her. So far she has resisted multiple attempts to change the scheme to one fair the the hospital, patients and operator, and has only made cosmetic changes.