09:01 Sunday 08 December 2013

Doveridge man 'livid' at parking meter changes

Written byJOANNA CRAIG

06/12/13 Parking Meters - Queen's Hospital, BurtonParking meters at Queen's Hospital 06/12/13 Parking Meters - Queen's Hospital, BurtonParking meters at Queen's Hospital

A DOVERIDGE resident has spoken out about the ‘ridiculous’ new system at Burton hospital car park.

Terence Snow, 67, of Alms Road in Doveridge has slammed the new parking meters installed at Burton Queen’s Hospital.

Mr Snow is ‘livid’ about the price increases and ‘complex’ payment system.

He said: “I went to the hospital on Thursday for an appointment and we weren’t aware of the new charges.

“Apparently now you have to register the time you’re going to spend in the car park at the machine on which the numbers and letters are so small you can barely read them.

“If you don’t put the money in correctly, it’s a £70 fine for the mistake.

“I’m shocked at the directors putting the parking charges up as well.

“We stayed for one hour 36 minutes and it used to be £2 for that length of time, well now it’s £2.50.

“I begrudge paying it – all the charges have increased except for the half hour one.

“They are ripping the public off.

“I’m livid because we didn’t know anything about it and it’s wrong to do that at a hospital.

“I’m sure the nurses and staff are getting fed up of all the complaints and that’s fair enough – they shouldn’t be in the firing line.”

Geoff Neild, head of facilities at Burton Hospital has defended the new system saying there are notable advantages over the old system.

He told the Advertiser: “We recognise that there have been some issues since the new parking system was implemented and we continue to monitor all feedback.

“The feedback received so far has highlighted that some patients and visitors have struggled to use the new system.

“We have therefore ensured that additional parking attendants are available across the site.

“We also recognise that the machines we have got do not issue change and that this can cause frustration when patients are in effect paying more than the car parking charges. “We are looking to install a change machine as soon as possible in the hospital main corridor.

“Everyone is allowed 20 minutes of free parking which means people can still drop a friend or relative off and leave straight away.

“If people cannot remember the exact time they arrived there is the flexibility if you are five or 10 minutes out with your arrival time that you’ll still be covered.

“Advantages to the new system are frequent users of the hospital, or renal and chemotherapy patients, can have their registration numbers automatically entered into the system to give them concessionary rates or free parking dependent on eligibility.

“A new overnight rate of £1.50 between 10pm and 6am has been introduced.”

The new parking system has lambasted by patients and visitors since it was put in at the end of October, with many people saying it is difficult and confusing to use.

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