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NHS nurse ordered to pay £150,000 in fines to private firm for parking at hospital where she works NHS nurse ordered to pay £150,000 in fines to private firm for parking at hospital where she works
(35 minutes later)
A nurse says she is facing paying around £150,000 in charges to a private company for parking at the hospital where she works after she and colleagues lost a court ruling. A nurse says she is facing a bill of about £150,000 in charges to a private company for parking at the hospital where she works after she and colleagues lost a court ruling.
The unnamed nurse is just one of 75 members of staff at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff who lost a court battle against Indigo Park Services which manages car parks on the site.  The unnamed nurse is just one of 75 members of staff at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff who lost a court battle against Indigo Park Services, which manages car parks on the site. 
The doctors and nurses have been ordered to pay around an initial £39,000 in outstanding parking charges and £26,000 in court costs after a judge at the civil justice court ruled they must pay £128 per ticket. The doctors and nurses have been ordered to pay an initial £39,000 in outstanding parking charges and £26,000 in court costs after a judge at the civil justice court ruled they must pay £128 per ticket.
The charges relate to the period between April and May last year and campaigners involved with the case warn the charges will mount as staff have continued to be issued tickets in the interim.  The charges relate to the period between April and May last year and campaigners involved in the case warn the charges will mount as staff have continued to be issued tickets in the interim. 
Indigo brought the case against the NHS staff who parked in visitor parking while at work because there is not enough space for them all to use the allocated staff parking. Indigo brought the case against the NHS staff who parked in visitor parking while at work because there is not enough space for them all to use the allocated staff parking.
One woman told the BBC she can spend almost an hour on some days searching for a place to park.One woman told the BBC she can spend almost an hour on some days searching for a place to park.
Cardiff and Vale Hospital Trust issue over 8,500 car parking permits to staff but there are fewer than 18,000 parking spaces on the entire site – meaning there is not enough space for staff. Cardiff and Vale Hospital Trust issues more than 8,500 car parking permits to staff but there are about 1,800 employee parking spaces on the entire site – meaning there is not enough space for staff.
The case was brought against three members of staff who have over 100 parking charge notices (PCNs) outstanding between them but it will be binding on the 72 others who have also been issued with fines. The case was brought against three members of staff who have over 100 parking charge notices (PCNs) outstanding between them, but it will be binding on the 72 others who have also been issued with fines.
Barry Beavis, who acted as a lay representative for the nurses in court as they could not afford a barrister, told The Independent the staff were “devastated” at the verdict as these were “life changing amounts of money”.Barry Beavis, who acted as a lay representative for the nurses in court as they could not afford a barrister, told The Independent the staff were “devastated” at the verdict as these were “life changing amounts of money”.
He said the nurse who faces a £150,00 told him: “She said I’ve got about 1,200 parking charges. She said ‘I get three or four a week and all I can do is written on them ‘stop hassling me’ and I send them back to them’. He said the nurse who faces £150,000 in charges told him: “She said I’ve got about 1,200 parking charges. She said ‘I get three or four a week and all I can do is write on them to stop hassling me and I send them back to them’.
“She pays them £1.05 a week through her permit. She says ‘I pay my £1.05 to park there. I have to park there haven’t? I work there so I pay to park there but they keep telling me its the wrong car park. 1200 times £128 each.’” “She pays them £1.05 a week through her permit. She says ‘I pay my £1.05 to park there. I have to park there. I work there so I pay to park there but they keep telling me it’s the wrong car park. Twelve hundred times, £128 each’.”
Sue Prior, a local parking campaigner who helped prepare the case, said some of the nurses were handing in their notices at the prospect of incurring more fines.Sue Prior, a local parking campaigner who helped prepare the case, said some of the nurses were handing in their notices at the prospect of incurring more fines.
“They have permitted a private parking company to do this. There is no common sense anywhere. It was like David and Goliath – and David lost," she told Wales Online. “They have permitted a private parking company to do this. There is no common sense anywhere. It was like David and Goliath – and David lost,” she told Wales Online.
Mr Beavis said the charges against the staff were set to go up as the firm had been sitting on all the PCNs they had issued since the court case begin. Mr Beavis said the charges against the staff were set to go up as the firm had been sitting on all the PCNs they had issued since the court case begin.
Although the firm cancelled all the fines issued before March 2016 “as a gesture of goodwill”, Mr Beavis said:  “It was conveyed directly to me by the supervising solicitor for the other side that Indigo Park Services have got in the bottom of a filing cabinet, literally 100,000 parking charges that they have issued over the last 12 months that they can seek to recover from staff.” Although the firm cancelled all the fines issued before March 2016 “as a gesture of goodwill”, Mr Beavis said: “It was conveyed directly to me by the supervising solicitor for the other side that Indigo Park Services have got in the bottom of a filing cabinet, literally 100,000 parking charges that they have issued over the last 12 months that they can seek to recover from staff.”
A crowdfunding campaign has now been launched to help the nurses launch an appeal against the verdict and they are looking for a barrister to take the case on pro bono. A crowdfunding campaign has now been launched to help the nurses launch an appeal against the verdict and they are looking for a barrister to take the case on pro bono. 
Mr Beavis, who owns a fish and chip shop in Billericay, Essex, was asked to represent the staff in court after he took his own parking charge case to the Supreme Court in 2015.Mr Beavis, who owns a fish and chip shop in Billericay, Essex, was asked to represent the staff in court after he took his own parking charge case to the Supreme Court in 2015.
“The judge made errors in law. I don’t represent many people in court and I am not a great advocate. Their barrister is more experienced at this and he put his case forward better than I could but I think there are grounds for appeal," he added. “The judge made errors in law. I don’t represent many people in court and I am not a great advocate. Their barrister is more experienced at this and he put his case forward better than I could but I think there are grounds for appeal,” he added.
He said he had been campaigning against private parking charge companies who he said were “currently out of control”, adding that the Government needed to appoint a regulator to control the “completely rouge industry”. He said he had been campaigning against private parking charge companies who he said were “currently out of control”, adding that the Government needed to appoint a regulator to control the “completely rogue industry”.
A spokeswoman for Indigo Park Services told The Independent: “In April last year, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Indigo agreed a new set of measures to improve car parking on the University Hospital of Wales site.A spokeswoman for Indigo Park Services told The Independent: “In April last year, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Indigo agreed a new set of measures to improve car parking on the University Hospital of Wales site.
"As a gesture of goodwill towards car park users, parking charge notices (PCN) issued up to the end of March 2016 were cancelled. In addition, the cost of a PCN was reduced to £10.00, if paid within 14 days. “As a gesture of goodwill towards car-park users, parking charge notices issued up to the end of March 2016 were cancelled. In addition, the cost of a PCN was reduced to £10.00, if paid within 14 days.
“Despite this, a number of people refused to pay for parking at the site. They also ignored the resulting PCNs and declined to use the formal appeals process. The recent court hearing related to three persistent offenders, who have accumulated in excess of 100 PCNs between them since April 2016. “Despite this, a number of people refused to pay for parking at the site. They also ignored the resulting PCNs and declined to use the formal appeals process. The recent court hearing related to three persistent offenders, who have accumulated in excess of 100 PCNs between them since April 2016. 
“As the company responsible for managing parking and ensuring the free flow of traffic at Cardiff UHW, we have an obligation to ensure enforcement of parking restrictions. For this reason, and with the full support of the Health Board, we took action against this small group of persistent offenders. The court’s ruling has justified our decision to take this action." “As the company responsible for managing parking and ensuring the free flow of traffic at Cardiff UHW, we have an obligation to ensure enforcement of parking restrictions. For this reason, and with the full support of the Health Board, we took action against this small group of persistent offenders. The court’s ruling has justified our decision to take this action.”