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Wales Online
Wales Online
Liam Buckler & Steve Houghton

Landlord undercuts parking charges at hospital by turning driveway of property into area for cars

A landlord has turned the driveway of his house into a car park in an effort to help motorists pay lesser fees than at a nearby hospital.

Akeel Ahmed, 33, spent around £20,000 on the land outside his house opposite Heartlands Hospital, Bordesley Green, Birmingham, turning it into a car park for up to 20 cars. For £5 drivers can park all day, less than half the £10.20 payable to the hospital for a 24-hour stay. Customers are invited to post cash through the letterbox.

The Mirror reports that the idea came to Akeel when a driver visiting the hospital asked if he could park on his drive, at the junction of Alston Road and Bordesley Green East, and gave him £5 "for his trouble".

There is also CCTV on the site. Akeel, who lets out the property, says business had so far been light. However, he said his main customers were nurses and some had split the cost of a space with a colleague so it cost them £2.50 a day.

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.

"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."

The father-of-three also has £2 offers for drop-off and pick-up slots for school run drivers on weekdays. No parents have yet taken advantage of the £2 school run offer, he said.

Signs are placed on the front of multiple driveways in Bordersley Green East warning drivers not to block them. However, 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, West Midlands Police announced officers in Bordesley had raked in £4,000 in fines. Parking for the first 30 minutes is free at Heartlands Hospital. It is then £3.10 for up to two hours, £5.10 for four hours, £7.20 for up to six hours and £10.20 for up to 24 hours. And some discount multiple tickets are available and individuals on income-related state benefits may qualify for free parking.

This week it emerged around 20,000 NHS workers at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation 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. University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust said its staff would have to pay from May.

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