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Stamford Hospital plans to introduce automatic number plate recognition

Drivers using a hospital car park when they aren’t patients could soon be fined as rules are tightened.

Patients at Stamford Hospital are often left without a place to park their vehicle as people who aren’t visiting the healthcare facility snatch up the spaces.

It is believed some are patients at the neighbouring Lakeside Healthcare doctors’ surgery, which has its own car park, while others are using free parking for a trip to town.

Stamford Hospital
Stamford Hospital

At a Lincolnshire County Council health scrutiny meeting on Wednesday (March 20) Coun Phil Dilks (Ind) questioned representatives from North West Anglia Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, on why no new parking had been created at the site.

He asked: “Why is it no longer a priority and what steps are you able to take to enforce that only patients getting treatment at the time are parking there?

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“I understand that people park and leave.”

Dr Callum Gardner
Dr Callum Gardner

Dr Callum Gardner, chief medical officer, explained it ‘absolutely remains a priority to tackle parking issues.

“We know it is a challenge at certain peak times,” he said.

“Patients need to be able to park at Stamford.”

In a bid to combat the issue, automatic number recognition cameras will be installed this spring.

Only patients using hospital services will be allowed and anyone who doesn’t register their number plate will be fined.

Plans for an upper level of car parking at the Ryhall Road entrance were announced by the trust four years ago. However, the project has not moved forward.

Dr Gardner said: “Of course that remains a consideration were that to be required.

“We of course need to utilise public funds appropriately to see if there are alternatives to building a multi-storey car park.

“This includes conversations which are ongoing with one adjacent large car park provider which might mean we can provide sufficient space for patients and staff without the need for a multi-storey car park.”

The trust is also set to promote a sustainability initiative amongst its staff with free bus fares and encouragement to walk to work.

When asked by LincsOnline after the meeting David Moss, director of estates and facilities at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are installing an Automatic Number Plate Recognition system in our car park at Stamford and Rutland Hospital, however we are at an early stage of the process and unable to provide any more details at this stage.”

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