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Daily Record
Daily Record
World & Hannah Mackenzie Wood

Dad turns garden into £20k car park for hospital staff charging £5 per space

A landlord turned his garden into a car park in order to undercut parking charges at the hospital across from his home.

Akeel Ahmed spent £20,000 transforming the driveway of his Birmingham home, just opposite Heartlands Hospital, into a car park for up to 20 vehicles.

All-day parking is priced at just £5 - almost half what the hospital charges, where motorists face a £10.20 spend to leave their vehicles for 24 hours.

The dad-of-three also caters to parents, with £2 offers for drop-off and pick-up slots for those on the school run.

To secure a parking bay, drivers simply post cash through the letterbox before heading off for the day, Birmingham Live reports.

Enterprising Akeel, 33, is among scores of homeowners who have hit upon a way of making easy cash by hiring out their drive.

BirminghamLive told last year how residents living near Edgbaston cricket ground could earn up to £1,000 in the week of an England Test match.

Akeel's lightbulb moment came last October when a driver visiting the hospital asked if he could park on his drive, at the Alston Road and Bordesley Green East, and handed him £5 "for his trouble".

He set about paving the drive and marking out 18 spots, with plans to extend to 20. There is also motion-triggered CCTV.

He offers school drop / pick up for £2. (Darren Quinton/Birmingham Live)

Akeel, who lets out the property, admitted business had so far been light but was hoping it would take off.

He said his main customers were nurses and some had split the cost of a space with a colleague so it cost them just £2.50-a-day.

No parents had yet taken advantage of the £2 school run offer, he conceded.

Akeel, who grew up in the house, said: "A guy came here while I was clearing the garden and asked if he could park - that was the lightbulb moment.

"I sorted the whole place which cost £20,000. That included the dig, materials and labour. It took about three weeks because I wanted it in a way you go in and go out. There will be 20 bays at a push, at the moment it is 18. It's a work in progress.

"The first few months were quiet but over the last six weeks it has picked up. It's mainly hospital users, patients and staff. I've have had a few nurses park up.

"The nurses in particular can't get permits to park up (at the hospital), here, £5 is nothing. And it's secure, every time a car goes in, I know about it.

"I get four or five cars a day, some days I get none. Weekends I can get none. If all 20 bays are full, it will be £100 a day but at the moment it's more like £10.

"I also offer for nurses to split their bay with another colleague so it's £2.50 a day - it's as cheap as chips. I'm on the JustPark app and a lady left her car here for a month for £58. It's good for the airport.

Mr Ahmed's car park. (Darren Quinton/Birmingham Live)

"Everyone who has approached me says it's brilliant. It's right opposite the hospital, on the dual carriageway, it's convenient and I'm making use of the land.

"I think it's going to be worth it. I'm making the area nicer as it was very overgrown. I contacted the council and they saw it as a positive."

Bordesley Green East is a red route where congestion and parking is a massive headache. Signs are placed on the front of multiple driveways warning drivers not to block them.

But motorists have dumped cars on pavements and even in the middle of mini roundabouts in a bid to avoid hospital car park payment.

In 2018, Bordesley Police announced officers had raked in £4,000 in fines after dishing out penalties around the Corbyn, Repton and Kenwood Road area, within just 48 hours.

Parking for the first 30 minutes is free at Heartlands Hospital. It is then £3.10 for up to 2 hours, £5.10 for four hours, £7.20 for up to 6 hours and £10.20 for up to 24 hours.

Discount multiple tickets are available and individuals on income-related state benefits may qualify for free parking.

And Akeel may be in line for a boost in takings. Earlier this week, we told how around 20,000 NHS workers at the West Midlands' biggest hospital trust - which runs Heartlands - would be made to pay for parking again after the Government announced an end to the suspension of charges introduced during the pandemic.

Three Black Country NHS trusts were set to ignore the advice by not charging workers to park but University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust said its staff would have to pay from May.

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