A PENSIONER says hospital parking needs sorting out after a “ludicrous” ticket machine error meant he overpaid for his parking - but had to pay again to be let out.

Stan Hubbard, 76, said the mix-up over his parking ticket left him trapped in a stressful situation in the busy car park of the Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Mr Hubbard said he found himself unable to leave the car park, despite paying more than required after an appointment.

He said: “I went to pay for my ticket and it said £3.70. I had no change so put £4 in and thought that would be okay.”

However, an error meant that instead of accepting Mr Hubbard’s cash, the machine took it as credit and did not accept payment.

When he went to leave the car park, the barrier would not come up and, despite having a knee problem, he was told to turn round and go back into the hospital to resolve it.

Kidderminster Shuttle:

He said: “At this point there was a queue of traffic behind me so I thought where do I put the car? Will I manage to walk that far? And if I leave the car will I be fined? I drove as far as the outside Pay Station and pressed the assistance button and was told to go inside the main entrance. I pointed out I was illegally parked and was reluctant to do so, so they then told me to put the ticket in again and put 50p in.”

Mr Hubbard, from Malvern, said the situation could cause problems for someone in poor health.

He said: “I can imagine if there was someone with high blood pressure or heart problems, the stress and hassle of the whole thing could set them off. People don’t need things like that when they are going to the hospital for appointments. I find this ludicrous and beyond belief.”

A spokesman for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said the ‘pay as you leave’ parking system meant people should only be charged for the time they were parked.

She said: “Tickets are automatically validated at the pay machine to avoid patients or visitors being overcharged. If anyone is concerned that they have been asked to pay more than they should, they can get in touch with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0300 123 1732 and we will do our best to resolve any issues they have."

She said there was a special concessionary parking charge of £1 per day for parents visiting children, patients with cancer and other long-stay patients and their visitors.

She added: "The trust has also taken active steps to alleviate parking issues by providing a Park and Ride facility for staff and visitors.”