Nothing short of extortion

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I had occasion to collect two ladies from visiting a patient in Worthing Hospital. The “temporary stay” free parking of 20 minutes was full, so I had no alternative but to park in the car park, which only gives 15 minutes free parking. The patient was in a ward on the fourth floor. Because of the geographical layout of the hospital, it was impossible to complete the process in 15 minutes. Both ladies are elderly and in no condition to run along corridors. The total exercise took 23 minutes – eight minutes past the “free time”. Considering the minimum charge is £1.30, I complained to the ticket office, but both men just shrugged and said “we only work here”. This is scandalous and nothing short of extortion, and nobody appears to do anything about it. Visitors to hospitals do not go out of choice or for pleasure. It is necessary to visit. The parking charges should reflect the need and be fairer, i.e., 30 minutes free, then 50p for the first hour and then increase on a pro-rata basis.

Rodney Hart

Ferringham Lane,