Let's hope common sense wins out at GPs

anyone who drives a car knows what a nightmare it can sometimes be when it comes to parking.

Friday, 23rd December 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:11 pm

First, there’s often the challenge of finding somewhere to park in the first place.

But once you’ve negotiated that hurdle, it’s how do you pay?

Some you take a ticket and pay later, some you pay first, some you call a phone number, others you’re expected to key in your number plate.

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Inevitably, under all of those systems, if you get it wrong, you pay the penalty.

And that’s exactly what’s been happening at Havant Health Centre.

It brought in a system where people using the car park had to enter their registration numbers on an iPad at reception.

Perhaps not surprisingly, not all visitors to the health centre noticed the change.

And even less surprisingly, those that went on to be fined tended to be the older, more vulnerable users.

Councillor John Perry has taken up their cause in a bid to secure them the £60 fines back they paid.

And we’re behind his efforts. While of course car park owners are perfectly entitled to use whatever system they like, it does seem unfair that in this case it’s older people that are, literally, paying the price.

Smart Parking, the firm behind the scheme, is quick to point out that parking is free for patients if they follow the instructions.

But it would certainly help if it were able to relax its rules a little while service users get used to the new system.

In the short term, we can only hope Cllr Perry’s efforts are successful.

And in the longer term, that fewer people are caught out.