PATIENTS and visitors who overstay their time in a hospital car park could find themselves having to go through a new parking appeal process.

At the request of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Gwynedd Council (BCUHB) is extending its car park enforcement measures at Ysbyty Gwynedd from today (March 1).

The tough new measures have been introduced primarily to curb problems of “inappropriate parking”, with reports of cars parked on verges, pavements and double yellow line zones.

But, an appeal process has been put in place for patients who park in monitored car parks for longer than the time frame, as in cases where care exceeds four hours.

Enforcement is to be carried out in the 20-minute drop-off area, the four-hour visitor/patient car park and for people parking on double yellow lines, pavements and all disabled areas.

The new rules come into force following concerns expressed by staff and patients about cars causing access problems for deliveries and ambulance crews.

There were also complaints about people parking on pathways and ramps impacting pedestrian safety and causing difficulties for wheelchair users.

The BCUHB web page also states that the Bangor hospital’s car parks have been used as an unofficial ‘park and ride’ for people travelling into the city.

Ysbyty Gwynedd director Meinir Williams said of the new enforcements: “This decision has not been made lightly.

“However, we have been forced to take steps to maintain the safety of all site users.”

She added: “Gwynedd Council has confirmed that an appeal process is in place for patients who park in monitored car parks for longer than the time frame, for example, should their care exceed four hours.”

A spokesperson for Treasure Chest a breast cancer support group, Nerys Chadwick, said: “Parking issues have long been a problem at hospitals, there have been similar problems at Glan Clwyd. But for people who over stay their time, perhaps those who have had a treatment or even chemotherapy, they’d be feeling lousy.

“It is the last thing they’d want to deal with is having to go through a parking appeal process, they’d just want to go home and relax.”

A Gwynedd council spokesperson said: “Following a request from the health board, we will be extending the areas we enforce from Thursday, March 1, with warning notices being issued for the first two weeks to remind motorists to park responsibly and in accordance with the clearly marked notices.

“Motorists found to be parking on double yellows, etc, would receive a PCN for £50 which would be reduced to £25 if paid within 28 days. Those parking in a disabled bay without a blue badge would receive a PCN for £70, reduced to £35 if paid within 28 days.”

In answer to the question what happens if it is someone who has had a treatment that has over-run and it is not their fault?

He added: “We would consider any appeal on its merits and will consider the circumstances.

“Anyone who believes they have been issued a parking ticket unfairly can lodge an appeal by following the advice on their ticket.

“Every appeal is thoroughly assessed and at the end of this process, should the complainant remain unhappy, they have the right to appeal to an independent adjudication body.”