A NEW parking system installed at Queen’s Hospital in Burton has been causing chaos for people visiting the site.
Number plate recognition technology started working at the Belvedere Road hospital on Monday, in a move to make the parking machines better for people with disabilities, after some reported struggling with the old ones.
But many people have been foiled by the change, which requires people to decide how much they owe themselves, with some saying it is ‘a nightmare’.
Under the new system, registration numbers are recorded as people enter the site. Once they have been to the hospital, they go to the machine, enter their registration number and put in the cash for the amount of time they think they have been in there. There is nothing to say how long a car has been parked.
Liz Reeves, who lives in Marchington, described the situation as ‘ridiculous’, after taking her elderly mother to the hospital on Tuesday.
She said: “You have to remember your registration number and exactly what time you arrived. I was lucky as I was just going with a patient, but somebody else racing to the hospital might not pay attention to what time you got there.
“This is an absolutely ridiculous way of charging people.”
She also argued that the numbers on the machine are too small to be seen by elderly people.
Other people commented the machine was difficult to use, and complained there were no clear instructions.
For the first few days of the week, there were people in the car park telling motorists what they had to do, but people were queueing at the machines for some time as many were confused and unsure of the process.
Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, refuted claims it was unsuitable.
Head of facilities Geoff Neild said: “People no longer have to try and predict how long they will be when they first arrive, or face having to leave the hospital and feed the machine with more money if they are longer than they expected. People have the choice to pay at any point in their visit to the hospital. If they stay longer that they expected they can top-up the machine before they leave.”