PARKING charges are to return at Salisbury Hospital – months after problems with the rollout of a camera system.
Earlier this year, a new number-plate recognition system to control parking at the city site was introduced.
But, just days later, it was suspended, with parking charges withdrawn for visitors and patients.
Now, hospital bosses have revealed the system will be reinstated, ‘going live’ on Wednesday, June 7.
Hospital chiefs said the new system suffered ‘significant difficulties’ when first rolled out, with the hospital now, having listened to users, instructing the supplier to install additional cameras to improve the accuracy of the registration number recognition.
There will also be simpler, additional validation devices for disabled drivers, with maps to show where they are, they said.
The system is owned and managed by the hospital, working alongside supplier, APCOA.
Charges are set to provide an income stream for the hospital, with funds – after running costs and maintenance costs are taken out – used for the provision of patient care.
From Wednesday, parking fees will apply between 6am and 10pm, seven days a week in the camera-controlled ‘pay on exit’ system. Car parking is free for all drivers, between 10pm and 6am.
Parking can be paid for using the APCOA app, available on Apple or Google Play, while cash and card payments are also accepted at pay machines and kiosks.
Fees have not been increased and the hospital has introduced a one-hour tariff, reduced from two hours, so patients and visitors could end up paying less than previously. There is also 30 minutes’ time to drop off or pick up without being charged.
Chief executive, Stacey Hunter, said: “I am incredibly sorry about the problems so many patients and visitors experienced when we first changed the way we collect car parking fees.
“We have listened to what people told us and instructed the contractor to install additional cameras and we have installed additional validation points across the hospital.
“Extra staff will be on hand to help visitors and patients use the new system.”