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Queen’s parking system snares another victim

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 06, 2014

06/01/14 Hospital parking story Paul Sawyer says he has a disabled badge so usually parks for free at Queen's but can't under the new system..He forgot his wallet so was forced to park a mile away. Has severe back problems and is now going to the doctors

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AN elderly man with a severe spinal condition has hit out at the new Queen’s Hospital parking system after he walked a mile for an appointment.

Paul Sawyer, 72, of Edmonton Place, Winshill, told the Mail he has now arranged to see a doctor because the walk has left him in so much pain.

The pensioner, who had a spinal fusion operation, is the latest in a long line of motorists left scratching their heads at the new system which was introduced in October.

Mr Sawyer said he took his wife Margaret to an eye appointment in his mobility car – which he said was exempt from charges under the previous system.

But Mr Sawyer said he had forgotten his wallet and had no option but to park a mile away in the closest free spot in the street.

He said he raised his concerns with a member of hospital staff who told him ‘no exemptions’ would be made.

He told the Mail: “I had to walk about a mile. I can only usually walk about 10 yards or so and since then I have had severe pain in my legs.

“To my mind it is as though they are kicking the crutch away from disabled people – it has got me wound up.”

But chief executive of Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Helen Ashley said it is possible for park on site without money by paying via phone or online.

She also said a concessionary scheme had been introduced which provided patients with limited mobility an extra half an hour of free parking.

The new parking system, which works using 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.

But bosses at Queen’s Hospital have since decided to review the system following the surge in complaints.

More information is available by visiting www.burtonhospitals.nhs.uk/hospitals-and-clinics/parking-registration-scheme.htm

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