Patient in 90s will fight Ipswich Hospital parking fine

Gerald Kelly, 91, from Alderton, is appealing what he says is an unfair parking fine from Ipswich Hospital.

Gerald Kelly, 91, from Alderton, is appealing what he says is an unfair parking fine from Ipswich Hospital. - Credit: Jess Coppins

A 91-year-old Blue Badge holder said he felt "completely depressed" to discover he had been fined £70 for parking at Ipswich Hospital.

Gerald Kelly, a widower from Alderton, near Woodbridge, says he has been unfairly issued with the fee after he parked in a disabled bay at the hospital on June 10 to attend an eye clinic appointment.

The grandfather-of-four, a retired salesman, says he followed the new instructions for parking, which involved taking his blue certificate to reception where they recorded his details.

Gerald Kelly is a Blue Badge holder who was attending an eye clinic appointment at the hospital

Gerald Kelly is a Blue Badge holder who was attending an eye clinic appointment at the hospital, but later received a fine in the post. - Credit: Jess Coppins

But then on Thursday, June 17, Mr Kelly received the parking charge notice, which included pictures of his vehicle captured by the hospital's new ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) system.

Mr Kelly is not the first person to fall victim to the new system, which has seen carers, Blue Badge holders and staff fined.

He said the letter, which says £70 will be discounted to £35 if paid within 14 days, would "frighten a lot of people" and they "will pay regardless of fault".


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On receiving the fine he said: "I just felt depressed, completely depressed. I just feel it's bullying tactics."

Mr Kelly will appeal his fine, but he is concerned others will just pay up.

Mr Kelly will appeal his fine, but he is concerned others will just pay up. - Credit: Jess Coppins

Mr Kelly is appealing his fine.

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East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which runs Ipswich Hospital, has apologised to Mr Kelly for any inconvenience caused.

Paul Fenton, director of estates and facilities at ESNEFT, said: “We’re grateful to Mr Kelly for bringing this to our attention and we are very sorry for any inconvenience caused to him by the new ANPR system at Ipswich Hospital.

“If anyone believes they have been fined in error, we’d strongly encourage them to contact us directly and we will investigate further."

The trust has an appeal process in place for anyone who feels they have been unfairly fined. Email travel.plan@esneft.nhs.uk  or call 01473 703821 Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm or 9am to 2pm on Saturdays.

"The team are here to help and are very happy to listen to appeals,” Mr Fenton said.

Cancer patient Kelly Weston is another Ipswich Hospital car park user who says she was fined incorrectly, in her case twice.


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