16:33 Thursday 02 January 2014

Hospital parking system review 'ongoing' as another motorist is caught out


Sam Grice Sam Grice

A PENSIONER has labelled the controversial new parking regulations at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital as ‘unfair’ after being caught out by the system.

Sam Grice, from Stapenhill, is the latest victim of the new system which has left countless people dumbfounded.

After bosses at the hospital promised charges would be suspended for people who had intended to make a payment while a review was undertaken, Mr Grice, 79, received notification of a £70 fine just days before Christmas.

He believes the charge to be unjust as he had intended to pay but could not decipher how to work the machines which have left many people scratching their heads.

Mr Grice, of Laburnum Road, said: “These machines are not really of my era. I had to stoop down to see, then put my glasses on.

“I certainly never intended to try to avoid paying. I am the last person who would do that.

“I tried so many times to put my registration the machine - I was standing at the machine for 15 minutes trying to pay. Another motorist tried to help me and couldn’t get it working either.

“These machines aren’t easy for us old people.”

Queen’s said the review into the system was ‘currently ongoing’.

Mr Grice has lodged an appeal against the charge and said he had considered refusing to pay and letting the courts decide.

He also said he felt the process was ‘impersonal’ as there had been no dialogue with the hospital, with the charges issued by car park management firm Parking Eye.

He said: “It’s unfair and I don’t know what the outcome will be. I thought about facing the magistrates to see what they think.”

Bosses at the hospital decided to review the system after being bombarded with complaints following its introduction at the end of October.

The system, which works on the basis of automatic number place recognition, requires people to enter their registration number and length of stay into the machine at the end of their visit.

It has led to dozens of people either overpaying to make sure they are covered, or facing a fine if they fail to remember their exact time of arrival.

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