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A new car parking system and traffic barrier will go live at St Mary’s Hospital on Tuesday (2nd January) to make parking easier for visitors and to stop vehicles using the site as a rat-run.

Following a period of commissioning and testing, the automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system is now ready to be activated on 2nd January at 06:00 and affects the main visitor car park located at the front of the hospital. The north car park adjacent to Maternity/Coronary Care Unit (CCU) will operate the same system later in the month.

Instead of using the old ‘pay and display’ ticket system, ANPR reads the car number plate when you arrive and leave the car park. New payment machines have been installed in both car parks as well as inside the main entrance and north entrance adjacent to the reception areas. The machines offer a range of payment options including cash, card, telephone payments or by mobile app (APCOA connect).

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There are currently no plans to increase current parking rates when the new system is activated.

Staff will be available to offer assistance at the payment machines in the main hospital building and Call for Help / Assistance buttons on the machines in the car parks are directly linked to the on-site Car Parking and Security Officers. All other car parks on the hospital site will continue to use pay and display machines.

In addition to the automated number plate recognition in the main car park, a barrier will be in operation towards the south of the site. From Tuesday only authorised vehicles will be able to pass through the barrier which will be controlled by the automatic number plate recognition system; all other vehicles will not be able to pass through the barrier.

St Mary’s Hospital site is increasingly being used as a ‘rat-run’ by those who wish to avoid congestion on the roundabout or shorten their journey. The increased vehicular movement on site causes issues and there have been several near misses.

Jon Burwell, Director of Strategy and Planning at Isle of Wight NHS Trust said:

“This new system will enable us to provide a better service for patients and visitors. No longer will patients have to worry about whether their parking ticket is going to run out. The system will also benefit staff with a simplified administrative system and no requirement to display a permit in the windscreen of staff cars. The system will also provide the Trust with the ability to improve road traffic management on the St. Mary’s Hospital site.”

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