Fears over hospital’s new blue badge parking system

Warning that disabled visitors to Finchley Memorial Hospital could be caught out
By Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Parking signs at Finchley Memorial Hospital
Parking signs at Finchley Memorial Hospital

A parking expert has warned blue badge holders could be caught out by a new system introduced at a North Finchley hospital.

Derek Dishman called for clearer signs at the car park at Finchley Memorial Hospital to let users know the arrangements had changed and help them to avoid picking up fines.

Derek, who helps people with council penalty charges at his Mr Mustard blog page, said that under the new contract with Euro Car Parks, blue badge holders had to register their details every time they use it – even if they had already entered the information under the previous system.

“If you come from Summers Lane, there is only one parking sign as you enter the site,” he said. “It is on the right-hand side of the entrance and facing away from you, so you don’t even see there is a new sign. 

“There is nothing to tell you the system has changed. As you go down the main entry route, it has double red lines and looks like a Transport for London road. Then, as you enter the car park itself, there is nothing to tell when you are entering a private parking area.

“Having previously registered your blue badge, why would you think you have to do it again? But you have to do it every single time.”

Derek also said there did not seem to be an option to stay longer than three hours, meaning people who underwent longer treatments could go over the limit.

He called for explicit signs on blue badge bays in particular, informing people they had to register every time, two signs at the entrance so drivers from both directions could see them, and a sign as people enter the car park from the approach road.

Finchley Memorial Hospital’s car park is managed by Community Health Partnerships, a government-owned company formed in 2001.

A statement from Community Health Partnerships said: “Finchley Memorial Hospital has a free car park for the use of patients and visitors. A camera parking system was introduced in January 2021 in order to prevent the misuse of the car park following the implementation of stricter controls on nearby street parking. This was to allow people with appointments to find a parking space when needed. 

“The system does not require a ticket. On entering the hospital building itself, there are a number of kiosks at varying heights for people to register their vehicles’ registrations, allowing them to park for up to three hours. If anyone is unable to use these, the reception staff will assist them. Only a few patients need to stay longer than this and in those cases, this is also arranged free of charge by reception staff.

“There are multiple high-visibility signs on the car park itself and banners inside the hospital entrance highlighting the arrangements.”

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