Disabled people struggle to use pay and display

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Disabled people are struggling to use pay and display machines at Pinderfields Hospital after parking charges were brought in for blue badge holders.

Complaints have been made that people with physical health problems find it difficult to get coins in the machines - which do not take cash or cards - after blue badge parking charges came into force on September 1.

The Pinderfields car parks are operated by Consort Healthcare, a private company which owns the hospital site under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal with Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust.

Kevin Oxley, Mid Yorkshire’s director of estates, said: “It has been brought to our attention that some patients have experienced difficulties with the pay machines, and this is something the trust and Consort are looking into to address.”

Blue badge holders are now charged £2 for parking for up to one hour and £2.80 for longer at Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury Hospitals.

David Speight, 65, who suffers from severe arthritis and uses Pinderfields weekly, said disabled people often struggled to get coins out of their pocket. He said: “In the main car park they can use notes and cards to pay.

“I’m not objecting to paying for parking, it’s the way it’s been implemented. The machines have got to be usable.”

Mr Oxley said PFI staff were on hand to help blue badge parkers if needed.

He added: “Notices with information for assistance are on display throughout the blue badge parking areas.

“Patients can inform reception or clinic staff if they have any difficulties with parking. Staff will then be able to inform the parking officers for assistance.”