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Birmingham Live & Tom Beattie

Man turns garden into £20,000 car park for doctors and nurses - for £5 per day

A landlord is undercutting parking charges at one of a city's biggest hospitals after turning the driveway of his house into a car park.

Akeel Ahmed, 33, spent roughly £20,000 on the land outside his house opposite Heartlands Hospital, in Bordesley Green, - it's now a car park for up to 20 cars. For £5 you can park all-day - which is a saving on the £10.20 demanded by the hospital for a 24-hour stay - and all customers have to do is drop the cash through the letterbox and continue on with their day, Birmingham Live and the Mirror has reported.

The idea came to Akeel last October 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 handed him £5 "for his trouble". This inspired him to pave the drive and to mark out 18 spots, with plans to extend to 20. There is also motion-triggered CCTV.

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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 just £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 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 dad-of-three also has his eyes on the school run market with £2 offers for drop-off and pick-up slots on weekdays. No parents have yet taken advantage of the £2 school run offer, he conceded.

Bordesley Green East is a congestion and parking headache for workers and residents. Signs are placed on the front of multiple driveways 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 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.

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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