Visitors to Boston Pilgrim Hospital say a new parking system at the site has left them at their wit’s end.
The new system, which records number plates on entry to the hospital – and then requires motorists to input their number plate into a machine and pay as they leave, has caused controversy since it was introduced.
Visitors have been forced to wait to pay in queues around 70 people long to pay at the machine – and they say it’s taking so long to reach the end of the queue that their parking charges are going up as a result.
Some people have said they’ve been left waiting in line for 25 minutes, which has meant their ‘under an hour’ charge of £1.70 has jumped to £4.20 by the time they actually get to the front of the queue.
Sharon Talbot took to Facebook to complain. She wrote : “I have just been to Pilgrim Hospital and experienced the new pay machines.
“My appointment took half an hour…I stood in the rain for 25 minutes, queuing to pay (only one pay machine) £4.20 for the pleasure.” She said.
Neill John Hastie wrote on social media: “We were told by a member of staff at the Pilgrim that you start getting charged for parking as soon as you drive in. So if it takes you 20min to find a parking spot you will have been charged for that 20min.”
Liam O’Keefe, recently visited Pilgrim hospital and said: “When I left the hospital to pay I walked out of the outpatients and there were only two machines working. The queue outside Outpatients was huge, so I walked to the other machine.
“By the time I got there both queues had doubled in size.” He added.
“I arrived at 3.50pm for a 4pm appointment and was out five minutes later, so I queued to pay longer than I was actually attended seen to by a doctor.
“It’s not so much me but the older generation were left standing for 15 minutes.
“The machines are in a poor location, right next to the doors so it made getting in and out of the hospital difficult.
“A lady in front of me had to use the light on her phone to see what she was doing with her coupon.
“Why put a new scheme into place when it is apparent is not up to speed, there are not enough machines and the location of the machines is ridiculous.” Said Mr. O’Keefe.
Elderly visitors have been made to stand up for a minimum of 15 minutes whilst waiting to pay for their parking.
Visitors have stood in terrible weather conditions, with limited light affecting their ability to work the machines.
Paul Boocock, Director of Estates and Facilities for United Linconshire Hospitals Trust, said: “We would like to thank everyone for their co-operation while we introduce the new car parking system at our hospitals.
“I would like to reassure members of the public that we are listening and trying to address some of their concerns.
“This will include working with Parking Eye to look at installing some additional payment kiosks, enabling more areas to issue the parking barcode for patients with blue badges and we are already starting to install better lighting and canopies around some of the payment kiosks.
“I would like to remind anyone using our visitor car parks that they will need to know their registration number when they come to pay.”