I RECENTLY visited Wansbeck General Hospital for an out-patients appointment and noticed that new machines for parking tickets have been installed.
The new machines require you to key in your vehicle registration, which is then printed on the ticket, rendering it non transferable.
Like many people visiting the hospital, I often buy parking time well in excess of my out-patient appointment time as these clinics can run late.
If I have time left on the parking ticket I have often donated it to an elderly driver, or perhaps a woman struggling with children and pushchairs, etc.
If I have already paid for that time, then as far as I am concerned, it is nine to give if I have no further use for what is left.
I never agreed with parking charges at hospitals.
To me it is a tax on the sick and their visitors.
Last year, the company running the hospital car park increased the fee from 80p an hour to £1.20 – a whopping 50 per cent increase at a time when people are getting no more in their pay packets.
Now we have these new ticket machines which prevent any acts of benevolence to other visitors, which I find to be an act of petty spite and unmitigated greed.
If this is going to be the stance of the parking company then there should be machines which issue tickets where you pay only for the time used, and which give out change.
Such machines are in use in Newcastle city centre car parks and Metro stations.
There is no excuse for exploiting the public in hospital car parks.