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Opinion : Visiting a friend in hospital

| June 19, 2015


It’s always sad to hear that someone is unwell, especially if they have been admitted to hospital.

A short while ago yours truly received news that a neighbour was in hospital so naturally it seemed like a good idea to pay them a visit to cheer them up.

It turned out my neighbour was a patient in a well known hospital just outside Aylesbury. If only they had been in Wycombe it would have been so easy to visit them.

Travelling to the outskirts of Aylesbury means either a long bus journey or a trip out in a car.

Taking the bus is such a faff. Stopping every few hundred yards to pick up passengers and bouncing around over the bumps in the road it can be so tiresome undertaking a long journey by omnibus these days.

Oh well, the motor car seemed the only option. After asking around one of my other neighbours volunteered to drive and come along too, naturally I jumped at their offer of a lift.

After driving for almost twenty five minutes we entered the grounds of the hospital and started to look for a parking space.

We drove down an approach road with cars parked along it in marked bays however the vehicle we were travelling in was larger than most and sadly it would have been a tight squeeze to manoeuvre into such a small parking bay.

A car park barrier came into sight and we drove up to it. After presenting the driver with a ticket the barrier opened and we drove into the car park.

What a dreadful car park it was.

Parking bays had been placed in every available scrap of space meaning there was very little room for manoeuvre for anyone in a larger vehicle.  Some bays were horizontal to the direction of travel others were parallel.

Sadly out motor was too long to fit within the confines of the marked parking bay so we had to look for a bay were the back of the vehicle could ‘overhang’ into a safe area.

Although I assume the spaces were regulation size the bays seemed very narrow indeed it was lucky nobody parked either side otherwise I doubt if we could have got the doors of the vehicle open to get back in.

The notices said that we were in a ‘pay on foot’ area, however the notices beside the road said it was a ‘pay and display’ area. How confusing!

I looked around and none of the other cars had pay and display tickets on them so we assumed it was fine to just walk off and that payment would come later.

After paying a visit to our sick neighbour we returned to the car park and started looking to find a machine where we could pay. There were no notices visible giving directions to payment machines. We spent ages just walking around trying to find the place where we had to pay.

Yours truly went to look at the notice in the car park, it said that payment could be done by credit card or on a website. Nowhere did it mention about payment machines. For a moment I though we were trapped as we didn’t have a credit card or access to the inter web.

Eventually we found a payment machine and were charged over £4 for our stay! Outrageous!

I fear the visitors are being ripped off with such high charges for parking in such a poor car park.

The car park needs major improvements including notices giving directions to the payment machines. Better marking of how drivers will be charged (e.g. ‘pay and display’ or ‘by length of time’). There needs to be some larger bays created so those with bigger motors can park safely and easily.

The car park at that hospital must be one of the worst my good self has ever seen.

What do you think?

*My next blog will be published on Friday evening around 8pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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